ISIS Shows Off Social Services In Captured Palmyra
ISIS continues to show a campaign of winning hearts and minds in the ancient city
ISIS continues to focus on showing a more charitable side to its operations in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, its latest broadcasts from there showcasing efforts to normalize its relationship with the locals.
In a post from the Homs Province network, the group published images of men painting shop fronts with blue paint to cover the Syrian flag, using heavy machinery to clear rubble from the roads, and distributing water to residents of Tadmur, the town that sits beside Palmyra’s ruins.
Recently, the network released footage of ISIS fighters distributing UN food packages to civilians, a contrast to the regular propaganda the group distributes after capturing a town. In past instances, the group has begun its rule over new areas by punishing those it considered enemy fighters. And in other towns with ancient artifacts, the group has made a great show of defacing and destroying priceless relics and ruins, it has yet to do so in Palmyra, a 2,000-year-old city.
There were reports of executions, said to have taken place in the city’s ancient amphitheater when ISIS took the city last month, but beyond those immediate killings, no other acts of retribution have been reported. Instead it blew up the notorious Tadmur prison, a hated symbol of oppression under President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez.