The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, well known as the terror group ISIS(ISIL-DAESH) seems to fight not only to survive on the battle ground against so many different enemies but also to defeat the invisible enemies, infectious diseases. Since the area of self-proclaimed capital of the Caliphate, Raqqa, faced up with the medical disasters, based on failed health system, the problems for the terrorists are just getting worse.

generic influenza virion
3D influenza/CDC

In 2015, the ISIS was trying to deal with the growing threat of the flesh-eating disease, which was popular for years in the Middle East as the Aleppo evil. This disease was always the secret resident of the oriental world but has been controlled by adequate government medical measures. Unfortunately, based on the latest information from the field, medical measures and hospital treatment don’t exist in terrorist agenda of phantom state; so many people suffer from this flesh-eating plague as well as many of them died during the lack of medical response.

There were about 100.000 reported cases of “Leishmaniasis”. This is not the end of the madness among those who rule the terrorist parts of Iraq and Syria. The faceless war in the Middle East opened the book of healthcare horror for those who are still there or who have no other choice than to stay. ISIS bombed and destroyed the hospitals that were dealing with the issue of injured or sick people and even tortured the medical staff.

Female doctors were stopped from practicing the medical work, if they didn’t have a proper veil. Some of them from Mosul were writing that even the patients died while the IS militants were keeping doctors away just to teach them how they should respect their own religious rules. That caused the massive exodus of healthcare providers, especially of those who didn’t want to treat the wounded terrorists. The area with no good hospital and no good medical workers became the inviting place for even forgotten diseases that shown to the terrorists they can’t control everything as they think they do.

After they failed to organize the medical care as they promised to the minority of loyal Sunni residents, they failed to reply on the devastating epidemiological diseases and when suddenly swine flu in February 2016 knocked on the terrorist door, they didn’t know how to save themselves first and then everyone else.

Their only message to the people in panic was that found on the spread pamphlets: “Recite Morning and Evening Litanies. Pray”. The first reports of the deadly disease came from Tell Abyad, a city nearby Raqqa but it was spread very easily to the west part of the DAESH capital city. Only in that month, about 20 people died from something which could have characteristics of sinister H1N1, the swine flu.

How we could ever think that this terror group will ever report the swine flu under that name? It could hurt its own ideology. Back to 2009, Israel didn’t report the H1N1 under the name of the swine flu but under the name of Mexico Flu. Why? Kosher and halal feelings of the people. With the fanatics behind the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, idea of dealing with swine flu sounds like the joke. But this is everything but not a joke.

They even suggested to people to use surgical masks so they could avoid the spreading of the virus, to cover nose and mouth when they are sneezing or coughing, to wash regularly hands, to clean the rooms with the chemical products, to avoid public gathering and to pray. On the pamphlets, this is the latest recommendation but obviously for them it was one of the most important.

The Health Department—The Diwan al-Siha—presents itself as a guarantor of health services in the administrative body of the Islamic State. They make decisions about everything and especially about the hiring medical staff or distributing the medications. It is obvious that their job should be monitoring and replying on the highest epidemiological crisis level regarding the H1N1 virus, but they are still covering it and pretending that they are controlling the situation.

The symptoms of the dangerous virus are: cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue with less or more dangerous signs of any other influenza, make ISIS-DAESH being ready to admit that they have no plan for solving it. The medicaments are not enough and they need international help as well as they need skilled medical workers, who would be able to deal with this disease in the adequate way and with the positive results.

The failure of controversial Islamic State is not only political but also in any other segment of its own governance. No matter how they have tried to imitate the “state” they are simply an institutionalized terror group and they will never be able to reach the point when they would be considered as anything which is not related to the aspects of terrorism.

Their financial, military, strategically and now even medical breakdown was something we have expected for a long time. The crash of the healthcare was started some years back, when the whole lines of the hospitals and medical facilities have been taken by militants. Forcing the doctors to focus on the injured IS fighters, calculating the blood donations for the benefits of the terrorist core, handling the drugs and their distribution and letting local people to make their own underground medical network turned the land under ISIS control into the hell on the earth.

The swine flu is just one of many examples how the planet deals with the problems. It is almost the sneer to those who propose such an ideology that nothing about the swine has to do there. This virus shows that terrorism committed by people is nothing in comparison with the terror which the nature can make to remind us who is who in the final chess game.

Sandra Maksimovic-Sara, has an MA in Biological  Counter Terrorism Studies, with special interests of researching and writing about  Biological Weapons, Biosecurity and Biodefense. Sandra hails from Serbia.