ISIL in Syria

Collection with 2 media items created by Transterra Editor

25 Jul 2014 12:29

Since establishing a foothold in the Syrian city of Raqqa in mid-2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has grown to become one of the most powerful Islamist militant groups in history. ISIL has now established a self-declared Caliphate that they have named the "Islamic State", which stretches from their areas of control on the outskirts of Aleppo, across Eastern Syria and Western Iraq, to the outskirts of Baghdad. This collection of footage was shot in ISIL controlled areas of Syria and offers an inside look at life under in the Islamic State.

Isil Isis Syria Islamic State Raqqa

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Women Under ISIL Rule in Raqqa
Raqqa, Syria
By Transterra Editor
09 Apr 2014

The Islamic state in Iraq and Syria have imposed strict procedures on the people of Arraqa northern Syria after gaining complete control of the city in the beginning of this year after clashes with the brigades of the Syrian opposition, which left hundreds of deaths and as much wounded from both sides along with civilians.
These procedures came through a statement by the ISIS to the people in Arraqa mid of January of last year, which include forcing women to wear the veil -in a province that used to have a civil life despite its tribal nature such as group prayers-, and the banning of music, signing and smoking, with the threat of penalties on any violators.
And also in the ISIS statement: the wearing of the full Islamic Hijab by women which is comprised of ( Baggy abaya, hijab, the veil, gloves), no raising of the voice on the streets, women are not allowed to walk in late hours on the street alone, and they are also not allowed to walk without any male relatives.
The conservative group also imposed in a second statement, a ban on the selling of music CDs, musical equipment and a ban on song playing in cars, buses, market and in all places. Along with the removal of any pictures of men and women from the front side of shops".
The third statement contained a complete ban on" the selling of cigarettes and Argile anywhere", while warning " that anyone who insists on selling cigarettes after the end of the period will lose all of his cigarettes through burning the first time, and his shop will be burnt down if the violation is repeated".
In a fourth statement ISIS demanded from all shop owners to close their shops ten minutes before prayer time, and any men on the streets will be forced to proceed to the group prayer, while any place that is still working during prayers will be shut down and will be judged through a Sharia questioning.
These procedures where very unwelcomed by the people yet the strict forcing by the ISIS has led to involuntary acceptance to these procedures by the people, tens of citizens of the provinces were punished both men and women some punished reached to the thrashing of the skin… most of the punishment to men are because of music and smoking while for women it is mostly because of the lack of full compliance with the full Islamic hijab, which have led to hundreds of Christian families to flee the city especially after ISIS took control of Bechara church the biggest church in Araqqa province.
On the media front ISIS poured its anger on the activists and journalists that were working in the province with brigades from the Syrian opposition, by arresting many of them, the capable of which fled to Turkey because they are also wanted by the Syrian government.
After months of trying one of the activist was finally able to take picture secretly by putting a camera in a car, and we were able to take photos of the city of Araqqa…
  1-    The southern entrance of the city of Arraqqa… (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria).
2-    Al Naem square in the middle of the city of Araqqa and the close mosque that is unable to accommodate the number of people which pushed them to pray in the square.
3-    Ammasi street middle of Araqqa city showing veiled women.
4-    The street of Alkhodr one of the streets in the city.
5-    The street of Tal Abyad the main street of the city.
6-    The panorama on the southern entrance of the city with a billboard written on it ( There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is the messenger- Hold on to god and do not divide among each other).


1) The driver:" I like listening to music and I also like to listen to Quran, but the Islamic state has forbidden us from listening to music and forced us to listen to Quran only, what should I do now should I listen to music or not, they have forced us to either listen to Quran are get whipped and what not, and at the same time we are not allowed to smoke anymore, if they see anyone holding a pack of cigarettes he will get a couple of whips. At the same time they have prohibited any place to contain cigarettes; if they find a place that has smokes they will burn their entire inventory, put him in jail, and whip him.
2) Fatima from the Tawsea Neighborhood in the city of Araqqa:" after ISIS occupied Araqqa they have imposed on us several things, like the veil, which is not forced even in Islam, only the Hijab is imposed on us, and we in Araqqa have lived together both Muslims and Christians, these kind of rules can be forced on us as Muslims, but these stuff cannot be imposed on Christians, and many Christian families were forced to leave Araqqa because of issues like the veil and others. Even at home when we go out into the balcony we go out veiled and what not, we are not used to these kind of stuff here this is suppression of personal freedom in Araqqa and we are not used to that".
3) Aisha from the Mashleb neighborhood in the city of Araqqa:" after ISIS tool control of course the veil was force on all women, I am a women of Hijab because that is what our religion has imposed on us, but our religion is a tolerant religion they cannot impose hijab, people have felt that they are being forced to wear the hijab, they must wear the hijab, but Islam is not the only religion in Araqqa there are many other religion and they should respect that. And plus there have been many whippings many women were whipped, some women were even executed because of this, because of the veil, and the people have felt that they are forced, people have went into a state of fear and horror, these things were forced through the sword power and people now should either wear the veil or get executed.
And when we go into the buses or on the Pullmans they now separate between men and women, and this is unacceptable, who gives them the right to enforce these things our religion is Islam and is nothing close to this religion, our religion is a religion of guidance and not a religion of forcibly imposed, nothing is forcibly imposed".

فرض تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام إجراءات صارمة على أهالي محافظة الرقة شمال سوريا بعد سيطرته الكاملة على المحافظة بداية العام الجاري اثر معارك مع عدد من كتائب المعارضة السورية ، سقط خلالها مئات القتلى والجرحى. وجاءت تلك الإجراءات في بيان صدر عن التنظيم في ( ولاية الرقة) منتصف شهر كانون ثاني الماضي تضمن فرض النقاب على النساء في المحافظة التي كانت تشهد حياة مدنية رغم طبيعتها العشائرية ولزوم صلاة الجماعة، وحظر الموسيقى والغناء والتدخين، وهدد البيان بمعاقبة المخالفين. كما فرضت الجماعة المتشددة في بيان ثان، حظرا "على بيع أقراص الغناء وآلات الموسيقى وتشغيل الأغاني الماجنة في السيارات والحافلات والمحلات وجميع الأماكن، وإزالة صور الرجال والنساء عن واجهة المحلات." وتناول البيان الثالث حظرا تاما على "بيع الدخان والأراكيل في أي مكان"، محذرة أن "كل من أصر على بيع الدخان بعد انتهاء المدة، فسيتم حرق كل الكمية التي معه في حال المخالفة الثانية يحرق المحل ." وفي بيان رابع، طالبت داعش بإغلاق المتاجر قبل موعد الصلاة بعشرة دقائق، وكذلك على أي رجل خارج الطرقات التوجه إلى المسجد، لأداء صلاة الجماعة، وأي متجر يعمل وقت الصلاة، يغلق ويطلب للمساءلة الشرعية.

هذه الإجراءات لاقت شجباً شديداً لدى السكان إلا أن التنفيذ الصارم من قبل داعش دفع المواطنين بتنفيذها على مضض ، فقد سبق أن تعرض العشرات من أبناء المحافظة رجالاً ونساء إلى عقوبات وصلت للجلد .. أكثر العقوبات للرجال كانت بسبب سماع الأغاني والتدخين أما عقوبات النساء فهي لعدم الالتزام الكامل بتعليمات النقاب. هذه التصرفات دفعت المئات من العائلات المسيحية لمغادرة المدينة وخاصة بعد استيلاء ( داعش ) على كنيسة البشارة اكبر كنائس محافظة الرقة ..   في الجانب الإعلامي صبت "داعش" غضبها على النشطاء والإعلاميين الذين كانوا يعملون في المحافظة مع كتائب المعارضة السورية فقامت باعتقال العديد منهم فيما هرب اخرون إلى تركيا، باعتبار أن هؤلاء مطلوبين لدى الحكومة السورية أيضا..

بعد أكثر من شهر من المحاولات استطاع احد الناشطين بكاميرا وضعت بشكل سري في سيارة واستطعنا تصوير لقطات لشوارع مدينة الرقة .. لقطات .. 1-  مدخل مدينة الرقة الشمالي .. ( الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام ).
2-  ساحة النعيم وسط مدينة الرقة والجامع المجاور للساحة لا يستوعب عدد المصلين ما دفعهم لأداء الصلاة في الساحة ..
3-  شارع الاماسي وسط مدينة الرقة تظهر سيدات منقبات ,,
4-  شارع الخضر احد شوارع المدينة
5-   شارع تل ابيض الشارع الرئيسي في المدينة
6-  البانوراما مدخل الرقة الجنوبي لوحة ضخمة كتب عليها ( لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله – واعتصموا بحبل الله جميعاً ولا تفرقوا ).
المقابلات .. السائق " انا أحب اسمع موسيقى وأحب اسمع قرآن بس الدولة الإسلامية منعم (منعوا )  علينا وفرضوا علينا بس نسمع قرآن ، طيب انا احدد هالشيء اسمع موسيقى وإلا ما اسمع ، هما فرضوا علينا فرض يا أمه تسمع قرآن او تنجلد ومن هالحكي ، وبنفس الوقت الدخان منعوا منعاً باتاً يلي يشوفون عنده باكية ( يشاهدون عنده علبة سجائر ) له كم جلده ، وبنفس الوقت ممنوع أي محل يحوي دخان واذا لقُم ( اذا وجدوا ) عندهم دخان بالمحل رح يحرقون كمية الدخان ويسجنونه ويجلدونه .. 2- فاطمة من حي التوسعية في مدينة الرقة " بعد أن احتلت داعش الرقة فرضُم علينا كثير شغلات ( فرضت علينا عدة أشياء ) منها النقاب وحتى في الاسلام لم يفرض النقاب بل فرض الحجاب ونحن في الرقة ساكنين مسيحية ومسلمين هالشي ( هذا الشيء ) ممكن يفرض علينا كاسلام ولكن المسيحية لم يفرض عليهم وعلى أي اساس في كثير عيل ( عائلات ) اضطرت تطلع من الرقة مسيحيه وغيرهم بسبب هالشغلات ( هذه الأشياء ) النقاب وغيره
وحتى في البيت لما نطلع على البلكون ( الشرفة ) نطلع منقبين وكذا ، كأنا طالعين عالشارع  وهالشغلات (هذه الأشياء ) احنا ( نحن ) مو متعودين عليهم ابداً هذا قمع للحرية الشخصية عنا بالرقة ونحن مو متعودين عليهن ". 3- عائشة من حي المشلب في مدينة الرقة " بعد ما سيطرة داعش طبعا فرضت النقاب على النسوان كلها يعني ،اني من الناس يلي مع الحجاب لانه هذا يلي فرضوه علينا دينا ، بس الدين دين يسر ما يصير يفرضونه العالم حست حالها مجبورة انه لازم تلبس الحجاب ، انه لازم تلبس الحجاب ، مو بس دين الاسلام يلي بالرقة بي اكثر من دين بدهم يحترمون هذه الشغلة ( هذا الشيء ) بعدين صار بي جلد للنساء بي كثير نسوان انجلدت وبي كثير نسوان انعدمت من هذا السبب بسبب النقاب والناس حست حالها مجبرة صارت حالة خوف ورعب فضيعه..،  وفرضم هذا الشيء وصار بحد السيف ، الواحد يا إما بدو يتنقب إجباري عنه يا اما خلاص بدو ينعدم ولما بدنا نطلع على شيء مكان سواء بالباصات او بالبولمان صارم (أصبحوا ) يعزلون النسوان عن الرجال ما يصير بأي حق هم قام يفرضون هذا الشيء نحن ديننا إسلام وما شين على هذا الدين ودين هداية مو دين فرض بالإجبار ما بي شيء يجي بالاجبار يعني".

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Eastern Ghouta-Chemical Attack Aftermath
Zamalka, Eastern Ghouta, Syria
By Transterra Editor
09 Apr 2014

Seven months after the Sarin gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on August 21st, 2013, some survivors speak out. Estimates of the death toll range between 300 to more than one thousand. The attack was blamed on the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Om Mahmoud – Medic
''This is the road I take everyday for work and on the day of the attack it was really hard to see here, it was all covered in fog. A missile hit over there and another one over here, they were car accidents cause the people couldn’t see anything. There were bodies everywhere; we were basically walking on corpse. We didn’t know what to do; we didn’t expect the chemicals to be dropped in these proportions. We did all we can do to help and save people. I hope we saved lots of lives.''

Name – Profession: Om Mahmoud – Medic
''The strike happened at 2:30 in the morning, 2 passed 10 we saw the missiles in the air. At first we thought it was regular chemical weapons, which will give us 3 or 4 martyrs only, like they always hit us with. Of course no one believes that they’re using chemical weapons on us. We took the people to the roofs, thinking that the chemicals stay on the ground, cause it’s heavy. Then people started calling for everyone to leave Zamalka, I was like, I’m medical staff, I have to stay here. All the way here the road was covered in fog and ambulances. I arrived to this area; there were corpses and car accidents everywhere. Here hit the first shell close to the hospital, and there was a huge amount of martyrs here. We were forced to walk on the corpses so we could save some people. At the end we couldn’t even see the needles that we were supposed to use. We did all we could, to help the children and women. Finally we were hit as well; our nervous system was hit at the hospital. Another shell hit the same area here next to the hospital, and we couldn’t do or feel anything. We couldn’t see or here, our nerves were not functioning. It took me two days to recover, I was one of the first people vomiting blood, and the doctors were surprised. There were other cases too, different ones since there were thousands of people who were hit, and children were hit. It was really horrible; whoever didn’t see this can’t imagine what it was like. There were bodies everywhere, we were taking them and putting them in cars, I was bleeding and vomiting blood. I was affected by the chemical, I feel like I have the flu constantly and I’m experiencing hair loss. I’m affected by the chemical, it’s for good. No one believed us; they think we’re imagining all this. Whatever we say it’s not enough. If we buried the children and elderly, if Buthayna Shaaban and come and see. They think we played them; it’s Bashar al Assad who played us.

Interviewer: What are the after effects of the strike?

Om Mahmoud: Everybody is suffering from depression. There is not a single home that didn’t lose a family member. There are families where only one person is left alive. You see those people have completely lost their minds. I know someone in that situation. You can see him walk down the street and he’s completely disillusioned. His brothers, sisters and parents are all gone. Families as they were sleeing all died. Some bodies were found after several days, once the chemical dispersed from the air. All this is a lesson for us, so we’d know that the regime is corrupt and everyone supports it. They think we’re not from this earth, we’re residents of Mars.

Interviewer: Did you lose anyone?

Om Mahmoud: I didn’t lose anyone from my family but I lost lots of colleagues and friends. In Eastern Ghouta, a lot of people died. At least 6 people from the medical center, where I work, died. Sadly.''

FSA Fighter:
''On the day of the chemical attacks, we were sleeping, so were the civilians. Some of the revolutionaries were on the frontline and at 2:30 in the morning, they hit us with chemical weapons. We felt it and went outside and found people dying so we called for first aid to come and help the people in these towns. Hundreds of people were affected, children, women and men. We were working in aiding people, driving back and forth and getting the affected. Some people died from the shelling as they were being transported, they hit the area with missiles and rockets. They hit us with everything there is and destroyed the buildings and the streets, so that ambulances wouldn’t be able to transport the people. The shelling kept going for three days, with rockets and warplanes, on Zamalka. Thank to God though the army wasn’t able to move forward.

Interviewer: Were any children martyred?

FSA Fighter: Children are dying here because of the chemical attack, and there is around a 1000, 1500 martyrs that were taken from Zamalka.

Interviewer: What are the psychological and other effects?

FSA Fighter: The effect is that you walk around here and not see anyone, everyone left. Young people, men and children, all left, there’s no one left. You walk around here and find yourself alone. You tell yourself this is this person’s house and that is that family’s but no one left here.''

Child 1
''Child One: I was in Zamalka at home.

Interviewer: What did you feel when the chemical strike happened?

Child One: I felt like my eyes got affected and my stomach started to hurt.

Interviewer: Was anyone from your family hit?

Child one: My dad and two of my uncles.

Interviewer: Did they get wounded or were they martyred?

Child one: They were martyred?

Interviewer: How did your dad die?

Child one: My dad was working in first aid and while he was doing his job he suddenly fell down to the floor.

Interviewer: Did you see your dad getting killed?

Child One: I didn’t see him except in the photographs.''

Child 2
''Interviewer: Where were you during the chemical attacks?

Child Two: I was at home in Zamalka.

Interviewer: What were you doing during the attack?

Child Two: I was sleeping.

Interviewer: What did you feel during the attack.

Child Two: I didn’t feel anything; I woke up and found out that a lot of people died, including family.

Interviewer: Did the chemicals affect you?

Child Two: No they didn’t

Interviewer: Did anyone from your family die?

Child Two: My uncle and my grandparents were martyred, and two other uncles were hit but they were hospitalized and survived.

Interviewer: What can you say about your uncle and grandparents?

Child Two: They used to loves us a lot, and we used to visit them often. It really saddened us.''

Child 3
''Interviewer: Where were you during the chemical attacks?

Child Three: In Zamalka at home.

Interviewer: What were you doing during the attack?

Child Three: I was sleeping

Interviewer: What happened after the attack?

Child Three: I woke up and went to my grandma’s; I waited there and ended up at the hospital.

Interviewer: Did anything happen to any of your relatives?

Child Three: Only my aunt, my dad and my cousin died.

Interviewer: What do you have to say about your dad?

Child Three: He used to love us a lot, and we used to play together and go out''

Child 4
''Interviewer: Where were you during the chemical attack?

Child Four: I was asleep at home.

Interviewer: What did you feel when the chemical attack happened?

Child Four: I didn’t feel anything I just woke up.

Interviewer: The chemical didn’t affect you?

Child Four: My eyes started hurting.

Interviewer: Did anything happen to any of your relatives?

Child Four: Both my brothers.

Interviewer: What happened?

Child Four: They were martyred''

''Until the first aid team arrived, we stayed for around two hours at home; they arrived and found us inside. We couldn’t see clearly, we were nauseous and were experiencing difficulty breading and coughing unnaturally. They took us out of the area and gave us the proper medicine.

Interviewer: Who got martyred or got hit in your family?

Man: No one was martyred in the family thank God, but we were all hit. Around 19 of us and our neighbor and his family and my friend wife came over, we were around 23 people in there.

Interviewer: Are you suffering from any side effects?

Man: Thank God no.
Interviewer: What about ant psychological effect?

Man: This one of course, we were shocked to witness our friends and neighbors killed. Every road we took, we saw someone we know who was dead. It was saddening.''

Shot List:
• Various shots of: Damaged buildings and cars • Shot of: President Bashar Al Assad on groung • Various shots of: Cemetary where most of the chemical attack victims were buried • Various shots of: ''The Grand Mosque of Zamalka'' • Various shots of: People in Streets • Various shots of: Om Mahmoud (the medic), • Various shots of: Caricature, drawings and paintings by Om Mahmoud • Various shots of: FSA Fighter • Various Shots of: Children