In a fascinating article, BuzzFeed News interviewed the wives of ISIS fighters held in a US-backed Syrian detention center, as ISIS’s hold on Syria and Iraq begins to crumble.
“We were looking for paradise but all we got was hell,” said Aisha Khadad, 30, who moved to Raqqa to be with her new husband, an ISIS foreign fighter.
“The big proof that (ISIS) are not good people is that they’re losing everything now,” she said. “Those who are victorious are on the right way. But, you know, they are losing. They are just retreating.”
None of the wives interviewed by BuzzFeed News have been accused of any crime, but are being held, along with their children, in a makeshift detention center inside a displaced persons camp.
“We keep them away from everyone else because it’s very dangerous for them,” said an intelligence officer in the new government overseeing northeast Syria. “Maybe their husbands killed some of the other people’s relatives, and the others in the camp will seek revenge. The rest of the people in the camp may also feel afraid of them.”
None of the women said they supported ISIS, and many claimed they were not aware of their husbands’ actions. But BuzzFeed claimed “their stories were filled with contradictions and holes in credibility.”
“I thought all the stories about ISIS were sedition against Islam,” said Nour Khairadania, a 19-year-old Indonesian woman.
“We watched the videos of how great life was under ISIS,” she said. “We thought all the negative stories about the Islamic State were lies. When you fall in love with someone you only see the good side, and if someone tells you he or she is bad for you, you don’t listen.”
But when she and her husband arrived in ISIS territory, they found that ISIS state benefits were only awarded to those who participated in its violent campaign.
“They said, ‘Who are you? You didn’t sacrifice for the Islamic State. Why should we do anything for you?’” said Khairadania.
“I didn’t come here for war or fighting,” said another woman, Nadja Ramadan. “I came here for my husband. That is the truth. I didn’t watch television. I didn’t know. I didn’t want to know.”
[Photo: Getty Images]