ISIS has opened its luxury hotel in Mosul early this month. The opening night was made all the more celebratory by fireworks display. The only guests welcome in the hotel are ISIS members who are visiting Mosul.
One counter-terrorism expert said the luxury hotel is a way for ISIS to say that air strikes conducted by the US-led coalition force have failed to destabilize the caliphate.
ISIS Luxury Hotel in Mosul
The ISIS luxury hotel was opened on May 1, The Independent reported. Members of the terrorist group have posted photos of the event showing men lazing around the hotel’s pool and revering at the fireworks display during the night.
Prior to the May 1 opening night, ISIS members were posting invitations for the event across social media accounts. Pictures seen by The Independent showed them tending the hotel’s garden, polishing floors and cleaning windows and swimming pools. There are also two ISIS flags mounted at the façade of the building.
US-led coalition is not causing damage to the caliphate
“I think the message the propagandists are trying to portray is that if the coalition is really causing damage then Isis wouldn’t be able to host gala dinners with fireworks at a luxury hotel,” counter-extremism researcher, Charlie Winter, told The Independent.
Elijah Magnier, chief correspondent for Al Rai Media, also said that opening of the hotel was an unusual propaganda to have come from the ISIS.
“It’s likely an attempt to present life in Mosul as fine and normal. But people are not staying in it as they don’t have the money to,” Magnier said.
The Ninawa International Hotel
The ISIS luxury hotel was not newly constructed. It is said to be the Ninawa International Hotel, which the ISIS has seized control of.
Ninawa International Hotel used to be Mosul’s top accommodation for visiting tourists. It has 262 rooms, two restaurants, two ballrooms and a gym, according to a 2013 review by TripAdvisor.
“Ninawa international hotel is one of the best hotels in Iraq , you can enjoy the luxury life with very affordable room rate which is about $100 per night,” TripAdvisor website’s description of the place reads.
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