ISIS’ foreign fighters are gorging on lavish feasts inside their terror capital while families are left outside to starve, The Sun reports. The regime is keen to portray life in Raqqa as idyllic, with glossy propaganda pictures of markets full of food, restaurants packed with smiling locals and shops selling the latest gadgets.
And jihadists continually post pictures on social media of them sitting down to enjoy banquets of fresh meat and fish, vegetables, fruits and pastries. But dissident group Raqqa Slaughtered Silently has released pictures of hungry men, women and children taken in secret queuing for food.
Wages for civil servants like teachers and court workers have been cut by 40 per cent in recent weeks after air strikes destroyed hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cash reserves. The group estimates that just 40 per cent of the population had enough income to cover food and heating bills.
Jihadists have also suffered a drop in salary but are still handsomely paid in comparison to locals. In addition, unemployment is also running at more than 20 per cent and traders will now only accept US dollars for payment. Gas is up 25 per cent, meat up nearly 70 per cent, and sugar prices have doubled in the last few weeks. Abu Mohammed also said that ISIS was imposing taxes on food being brought into the city – causing prices to rise and forcing civilians to join its ranks as fighters.
He said: “All these factors led to a rise in prices of basic materials in Raqqa to become out the majority of the people’s ability, despite the presence in the shops, which is studied will by ISIS and the aims through it is to force people to join ISIS and to engage in its ranks to have a living, either be one of the members of ISIS and enjoy the blessings or to try to find a place in relief kitchens.”