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In Palmyra, ISIS Distributes UN Food Packages To Civilians

ISIS releases more propaganda of its state-building efforts, this time in Palmyra and its vulnerable residents

Jun 01, 2015 at 11:54 AM ET

As it soldifies its gains in the ancient city of Palmyra, ISIS has released images of its members reaching out to civilians, distributing UN aid food packages. It appears to be a bid for the hearts and minds of the 50,000 residents of the town who relied on tourists to the 2,000-year-old site for their local economy.

The images, released by the group’s Homs Province network, show people standing in line, carrying boxes belonging to the World Food Program, the UN food fund that has been providing supplies to Syrian civilians since the beginning of the war. These are some of the first images ISIS has released since taking over Palmyra showing how it claims to be governing the city. ISIS has in the past taken similar UN packages and rebranded them as zakat, traditional Islamic tithing for the poor.

WFP spokesperson Jane Howard told Vocativ that the organization was not aware of the images. “As a food program, we don’t give food assistance to the military,” she said. “There is a war going on and sometimes areas change hands very quickly, and it’s very chaotic. Clearly, we try our best to make sure that the food will go to the people it’s intended for.”

Homs Province, images from distribution of food and aid to the Muslims in the city of Palmyra

Read More:

Syrian Army Accused Of Hoarding U.N. Food For Starving Civilians (Vocativ)
ISIS Alternates Carrot And Stick To Control Palmyra (New York Times)