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YPG and FSA Fighters on the Outskirts...
Tal Abiyad, Syria
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Kurdish Army and Free Syrian Army fighters gather on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad while the battle to wrestle the frontier town from ISIS remains underway. The offensive launched by the fighting groups was eventually successful with anti-ISIS forces taking full control of the town. 

Tal Abiyad was a strategic conduit for supplies going to the Islamic State Group's self-declared capital of Raqqa. By capturing the town, YPG and FSA forces dealt a strategic blow to ISIS' hold on northereastern Syria 

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 02
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Free Syrian Army fighters, who coordinated the offensive with the Kurdish YPG, pray beside a river in the vicinity of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 03
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Free Syrian Army fighters patrol the areas around Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 04
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Fighters relax against a combat embankment on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 05
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Kurdish YPG fighters with an improvised armored vehicle on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 07
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Female Kurdish YPG fighters relax on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 08
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Male and Female Kurdish YPG fighters gather on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 09
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Fighters keep watch of the area in the vicinity of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 10
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

A female Kurdish YPG fighters watches the battle of Tal Abiyad unfold in the distance.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 12
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

An anti-ISIS fighter photographs a destroyed ISIS sign on a road on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 13
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Kurdish YPG fighters pose for a photo on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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Anti-terror Operations Continue in Tu...
Gafsa, Tunisia
By Marwen Farhani
30 Mar 2015

Anti-terror operations continue in the wake of the Bardo Museum attack, this time in the rural areas outside the Tunisian capital. This operation comes a day after a raid in the suburbs of Tunis ended with authorities killing nine suspected militants in a gunfight and arresting one.

Heavily-armed Tunisian forces patrol outside the town of Gafsa as helicopters survey the area from above.

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The Christian Militia Fighting ISIS i...
Unnamed Road, Bakufa,Iraq
By Nils Metzger
23 Mar 2015

This footage shows fighters from the Assyrian Christian Dwekh Nawsha militia at their forward operating base in Baqufa, Iraq, as well as on the frontline where they operate together with Peshmerga units. Since August, Dwekh Nawsha has guarded the village of Baqufa – especially its church – from looters. They also control the road connecting Mosul, the largest city in the Islamic State, and Dohuk, a large Kurdish city currently giving refuge to more than 100.000 displaced persons, many of them Christians.

This specific section of the frontline is very quiet, with no major fighting for the past six months since neither side has any heavy weapons deployed here. Many refugees criticize the militia’s lack of commitment to recapturing their village in the Niniveh area.

This footage shows an ordinary day with Dwekh Nawsha: watching the enemy on the frontline, waiting at the base camp, patrolling the village of Baqufa, staying awake all night to guard the small checkpoint, preparing breakfast for the day shift, cleaning the base and returning home for their week off.

The footage includes interviews with Rama Baito, the social media manager of Dwekh Nawsha; Sargon Logan, a 25-year old bread vendor from the city of Dohuk who joined Dwekh Nawsha three months ago; General Tareq Suliman, the local Peshmerga commander on the frontline near Dohuk; and his second-in-command, Colonel Kerim, who accompanied the journalist to the frontline.

BACKGROUND:

In August 2014, the Islamic State captured a number of Iraqi Christian towns in the area surrounding Mosul, among them Karakosh, the largest Iraqi city with a Christian majority.

While most fled, some Christians organized themselves into militias to defend their villages. One of them is Dwekh Nawsha (‘The Sacrificers’). Since August 2014, they have trained more than 60 fighters from the Ninaveh region of Iraq and control a small part of the frontline north of Mosul near a village called Baqufa. Dwekh Nawsha is not just a militia of Christians, but one fighting for the interests of the ancient Assyrian communities in Iraq. The Assyrians cherish a culture much older than Christianity, but were also one of the first peoples to convert in the 1st century AD. Over the last few months, the Islamic State has destroyed a number of important excavating sites and historical cities of the Assyrians, a people who used to rule over large parts of the Middle East 3.000 years ago.

The interviews were conducted in English and Kurdish.

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Interview: US Citizen Provides Iraqi ...
Dohuk, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
22 Mar 2015

In February 2015, Judd Carroll from Tyler, Texas decided to start a fundraising campaign to help Christian refugee children in northern Iraq and then deliver the material aid himself. Not only did the fundraising effort fail but, despite harsh criticism from family and friends, he spent his own money to fly to Iraq to bring both baby food and military equipment to local Christian militias. In this 30min interview, he explains his motivation and why he wants to join these Christian militias fighting the Islamic State.

The interview was filmed at the headquarters of the Christian Assyrian militia Dwekh Nawsha (‘The Sacrificers’).

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Interview: Yousif Thomas Mirkis, Chal...
Sulaimaniya, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
20 Mar 2015

Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis of Kirkul is one of the most important clergymen in the Chaldean Church and one of the most influential representatives of the Christian community in all of Iraq. The diocese of Kirkuk has always been a centerpiece of Iraqi Christendom, its former Archbishop Louis Raphael Sako having become the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church in 2013. This interview with Bishop Mirkis was conducted on 19 March 2015 in Sulaimaniya, Iraq.

The main topics discussed are the current refugee crisis and the future role of Christians in Iraq.

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Interview: Emanuel Youkhana, Head of ...
Erbil, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
18 Mar 2015

This footage is an extended interview with Archimandrit Emanuel Youkhana, priest of the Assyrian Church of the East and head of the most important Christian relief organization in Iraq, CAPNI. Here he talks extensively about why, even after the Islamic State has collapsed, he thinks Iraqi Christendom is about to die out, and why he does not expect things to get much better.

The interview was conducted in English.

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Christian Refugees in Erbil, Iraq 1080p
Erbil, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
18 Mar 2015

Jens Petzold is a Swiss monk who heads a monastery in Erbil, Iraq for Iraqi-christian refugees who fled ISIS attacks on their towns last year. A former resident of the famous Deir Mar Musa monastery in Syria, Petzold first came Iraq from Syria in 2011 in order to rebuild the abandoned monastery of Deir Maryam al-Adha. After the Islamic State started to attack Christian villages in Iraq this past summer, he became the sole caretaker of dozens of displaced families.

Petzold is a charismatic and unorthodox church congregation leader. This footage tries to show how a single person can make a big difference to many refugees as well as show how refugees from the Christian community try to get on with their daily lives, somehow trying to avoid leaving their homeland for good.

Background:

In August 2014, the Islamic State captured a number of Iraqi Christian towns in the area surrounding Mosul, among them Karakosh, the largest Iraqi city with a Christian majority. Most of its 50,000 residents fled within a couple of hours on the 6th of August and left most of their belongings behind. Right now more than 100,000 of the already shrinking population of Iraqi Christian community have become internally displaced or fled to other countries. While most of the IDPs have found refuge in Ankawa, the Christian quarter of Erbil and two large refugee camps near the city of Dohuk, a small monastery in Sulaimaniya opened its doors for more than 200 refugees who have now been living in this very crowded place for more than half a year. The monastery with its church and one building houses 80 people, nearby apartments another 100+ people. Almost 70 of them are children.

The author visited Sulaimaniya in March 2015. The entire footage was shot during that time. It includes interviews with Jens Petzold, several of the refugees, shows daily life in the monastery as well as a mass. I accompanied Jens Petzold during trips to the local market, to a Christian graveyard and to another local church community where they are raising funds to build new housing facilities.

The following rough cut is in chronological order as it was shot.

The interviews were conducted in English and Arabic.

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Syrian Assyrians Flee ISIS to Qamishli
Al-Qamishli
By TTM Contributor 33
25 Feb 2015

Qamishli, Syria
February 26, 2015

Christian-Assyrian refugees seek refuge in the Kurdish controlled city of Qamishli after fleeing ISIS advances on their villages of Tal Tamer, Tal Harmoza, Tal al-Jazeera, Tal Kouran and Abu Tina in the Hasakeh province. ISIS militants recently kidnapped 220 Assyrians in Hasakeh province setting a dangerous precedent for christians in the area and spurring entire villages to abandon their homes and flee ISIS advances.

SHOTLIST AND SOUNDBITES

Wide/ external of the Syriac Cultural Association in Syria
Wide of men holding diaper packs destined for displaced families
Wide of diaper packs and other supplies
Wide of supplies in pickup trucks
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Michael Kourieh, Member of the Syriac Cross
00:23 – 01:30
The Syriac Cross for Relief and Development. Our work currently revolves on to help our Assyrian brothers who fled the Khabour and Tal Tamer areas. They are living in several Assyrian churches. Our aim is to help the Assyrian so that they would feel at home. As you see from these supplies, we work all day long so they would not feel like strangers.
More importantly, from the information that we gathered, we learned that the displaced came from the Khabour area in the hundreds.
We feel sad about that, but we are trying our best to help them and offer them aid.
Various associations in Qamishli are involved in this work, such as the United Nations and Mother Syria Association. Everyone is making an effort [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. We are all coordinating our work and we hope that everyone is pleased with our work. God willing, we shall remain a unified people. “

Wide of Syriac Cross members unloading aid supplies
Wide/ external Syriac Cultural Association in Syria
Wide of aid supplies

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Elizabeth Jouqa, A displaced from Tal Tamer area

01:50 – 03:30

We fled the moment we first heard that ISIS kidnapped women, young men and children. We ran away before ISIS arrived to avoid being captured.
Interviewer: Did many people flee?
Many! There is about 600 [displaced] families here in Qamishli. May God safeguard you.
My relatives were abducted. We do not where they are. Amy God protect them from [ISIS]. May God break their arms.
Interviewer: When did the attack take place?
It was in the morning. We heard about in the morning. We called our relatives In Tal Shmeiran who told us that [ISIS] invaded their village. They said that [ISIS] had taken the men two days earlier to an unknown location and that they were like sheep to the church and did not know what was going to happen to them.
Our men, fighters from the Sotoro organisation and the Kurds, may God protect them, defended the people, but what could they do? The others [ISIS] are many. There were probably 600 of them.
Interviewer: who do you demand help from? The international community? The autonomous administration here? Regional countries?

What can I say?
Interviewer: Do you want aid form the United Nations? Who do you want aid from?

We are grateful for anyone who wants to help us. I do not know who should help us.
Wide of Syriac Cross members unloading aid supplies
Wide of street
Traveling of street

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Julia Butros, A displaced from Tal Tawil village
03:49 – 05:27
It was in at five in the evening. They [the rescuers] took children and their father. It was at five o’clock. People fled using a mobile diesel tank. They removed the tank from the vehicle and put people in its place and took to Hasaka, and from Hasaka they were brought here to Qamishli. People arrived here at midnight. The trip started at five and took all night long.
We do not anyone who was kidnapped. It is said that people were kidnapped in other villages. We cannot say anything other than that we have seen did not see.
Interviewer: Did ISIS blow churches?
They did in another village but not in Tal Tawil. They blew up churches in another village. . In other villages there people whose whereabouts are not known.
Interviewer: How many people fled to Hasaka and Qamishli?

I do not know. May be around 300 or 400 people. Around 100 people fled from our village, Tal Tawil.

Interviewer: who do you demand help from? The international community? The United Nations?
May God reward them, whether they offered aid or not. May God reward you and anyone who helps these troubled people.
Interviewer: Is ISIS present in your village?
[ISIS] is present in other villages. This man’s wife does know anything about her family. Interviewer: Did the Kurdish fighters and the Syriac Council liberate these villages?
They are trying to help, I am not saying that they are not, but what can they do?

Wide of Syriac Cross members unloading aid supplies
Various of Christian icons hung on a wall
Close-up of sign hung on an aid vehicle reads: “An initiative of love and solidarity towards from Tal Tamer and Khabour.”

Close-up of sign on aid vehicle “Syriac Cross Organization for Relief & Development”
Medium of sign on aid vehicle “Syriac Cross Organization for Relief & Development”

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Turkey: Anti-ISIS Civilian Border Pat...
Turkey-Syria Border
By Ibrahim Karci
08 Feb 2015

From the beginning of the battle for Kobane, many volunteers from numerous districts around Turkey gathered in the villages close to the border to help patrol the border and prevent ISIS fighters from slipping in and out of Syria. Despite the fact that that Kurdish forces have now cleared Kobane of ISIS fighters, volunteers still patrol in the villages close to the border, fearing ISIS remnants will slip through.

TRANSCRIPT

Interview with Halit Çelikarslan – Villager
00.37– 00.50: Since the first day of the resistance, from different parts of Turkey, even from abroad, people came here, with the aim of helping the people resisting in Kobane.

00.52 – 00.56: We received help from them.

00.57 – 01.26: Usually young people and women were coming here. They worked united, stayed in tents for days in bad weather conditions and served the cause in many ways.

Interview with Emin Baran – Lawyer and Volunteer aid worker in Suruc
Journalist:
01.31 – 01.36: Why were the border patrols initially started?

Emin:
01.36 – 01.43 People were passing the border from Kobane to here, so people felt obligated to welcome them, since their passage was stopped frequently [by Turkish border patrols].
01.44 – 01.46 [Turkish] Soldiers tried to keep them in restricted areas.
01.47 – 01.53 Some of them [refugees] were injured. So, to have a front group on the border became necessary.
01.56 – 02.04 After the displacement came to the end, people kept patrolling in order to ensure that ISIS would not get help in Kobane.
02.05 – 02.10 Essentially, it was aimed to not letting ISIS gain strength in Kobane by using Turkish land.
02.18 – 02.28 The border patrols had two purposes. First, to show the people of Kobane that others are supporting them in their resistance.
02.29 – 02.35 Second, to narrow the movements of ISIS in Turkey. [Turkish] Soldiers blockaded the villages in which people were border guarding.
02.36 – 02.46 Every time the [Turkish] soldiers tried to force people to leave the [border] villages [which were located literally right beside ISIS held areas]. ISIS attacks gained enormous strength, immediately after.
02.47 – 02.50 Without exception, this happened each and every time.

Interview with Figen Yaşar-Mayor of Mus Bulanik from HDP
02.52 – 02.56 We initially came here during the beginning of the resistance in Kobane.
02.57 – 03.02 We first watched the border for seven days, during the peak of the clashes.
03.03 – 03.07 After, we went back to Muş and Bulanık, where we came.
03.09 – 03.16 During our second shift [on the border] we stayed here for nine days. Those days the clashes were really severe.
03.17 – 03.23 From Kobane to the air, smoke and fire clouds were raising.
03.24 – 03.30 We brought 12-13 martyr bodies to our village alone.
03.31 – 03.37 They were all the children of this land. Some of them joined to the war three months ago, some five months, and some six years.
03.39 – 03.46 Kobane has been cleansed [of ISIS fighters], but there are hundreds of villages connected to the Kobane [which ISIS controls].
03.47 – 04.02 Until the villages of Kobane are liberated, until the people of Kobane go back their homes and settle there, the people of Kurdistan and Turkey will guard and keep guarding.

Interview with Head of the security in the Village-(Name withheld)
04.07 – 04.13 I am responsible for the security of this district. I have been here for 95 days.
04.13 – 04.19 We explain to the border guards how to prevent ISIS from crossing.
04.20 – 04.23 Usually they cross from this district.
04.25 – 04.29 The ones who want to participate can easily cross the border.
04.30 – 04.36 As you see, that's the border for the guards. Between 6 pm and 6 am people [civilians] keep guarding.
04.38 – 04.42 There are other check points in other villages.
04.43 – 04.50 When they see them [refugees] from the distance, they inform us and we help them through.
04.54 – 04.57 The border guards notices us.
05.03 – 05.04 “hello” “hello”
05.10 – 05.11 Are taking over the shift?
05.11 – 05.12 Yes, two people in each shift.
05.19 – 05.20 Thank you.

05.28 – 05.29 We keep guard here, we can't leave.
05.29 – 05.31 We came for the shift change. You can leave now.

Filiz Aydın - Volunteer Watch Guard
05.34 – 05.42 We began guarding when ISIS come to Kobane. Not only in this village, but also in others.
05.43 – 05.55 The reason I keep guard is to prevent ISIS soldiers crossing the border. I also lost my brother at the war.
05.56 – 05.58 Not in Kobane, but in Rojava, in Serikani, I lost my brother.
05.59 – 06.04 My brother might be still alive if we watched the borders in Serikani.
06.06 – 06.14 It was his cause, and if we have the same cause, if we want his dreams to come true, we can also contribute.
06.15 – 06.25 Not everyone can get involved in armed battles in the mountains. Not everyone can fight in Kobane, but you can do whatever your hands find to do.
06.27 – 06.32 We say Kobane got liberated, but some of the villages are still under the siege.
06.33 – 06.39 Even if Kobane is cleansed [of ISIS], it's not just Kobane. Until Rojava gets liberated...
06.41 – 06.47 As I said it's not only about ISIS, it was first Al-Nusrah, Al-Qaida, and now ISIS.
06.48 – 06.54 There is Qamishle, Afrin... Until Rojava is completely cleansed,
06.55 – 07.05 Until the canton's [Rojava] political autonomy is recognized by the world, this is my opinion, the threat won't be defeated.

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Peshmerga Units Clear Explosives Laid...
Kirkuk, Makhmour
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
08 Feb 2015

The amount of IEDs left by the Islamic State is staggering. 'Not normal', says the mayor of Makhmour. According to Kurdish government and Peshmerga officials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines planted by Islamic State militants are the biggest cause of casualties for Peshmerga forces. ISIS has adopted the tactic of heavily seeding all of the territory it withdraws from with the deadly devices, with the intent of slowing down Peshmerga advances. Some IEDs are also intentionally left in fields and homes to target civilians according to Kurdish officials. We go to the frontlines with a Peshmerga engineer team specialized in dismantling the devices, and speak to a farmer who is affected by Islamic State IEDs. The mayor of the city of Makhmour, whose community is still dealing with getting rid of massive amounts of IEDs ISIS left in August, also weighs in on the subject.

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Waiting Out the Siege: Kobane Refugee...
Seher Sokak No:34, 63800 Suruç/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Antoine E. R. Delaunay
02 Feb 2015

A photo reportage, realized at the end of November 2014, illustrating the challenging situation faced in the Kurdish city of Suruç and its region overwhelmed by Syrian refugees. Heavy fighting between Kurdish forces and Daesh have been raging inside the city of Kobane, located only a few kilometers away on the other side of the Turkish-Syrian border, for more than three months at that time.

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Aftermath of Raqqa Bombings by Syrian...
By TTM Contributor 20
01 Dec 2014

27 November 2014 Destruction from recent airstrikes in Raqqa by Syrian Regime warplanes.

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'Consumer Protection' in the Islamic ...
Raqqa
By TTM Contributor 20
08 Nov 2014

November 9, 2014
Raqqa, 2014

The Islamic State "Control and Inspection Office" is one of the most active governing ministries in Raqqa. This footage shows members of the ministry searching for expired or spoiled products and products subject to poor storage in the stores and warehouses of Raqqa. The products are then confiscated and destroyed in public.

Other active Islamic State public offices in Raqqa include the Traffic Police Office and the Islamic Services Office.

Shot List:

-Ministry employee finishing his work in the office

-Ministry workers parading in the streets of Raqqa

-Ministry officers fining shop owners for having poor or expired products in their stores.

-One of the shop owners (interviewed) talks about the fining process: either they sign a commitment (pledge paper) or their shop will be sealed with red wax for several days.

-Products are taken to a public square in Raqqa, where Hisbah [Islamic State enforcers] men destroy a small amount of these products in front of the citizens, and the larger amount is taken to the dumpsite.

Speakers:

(00:08) Abu Al Bara’, worker at the Control and Inspection Office: The office was established in the city of Raqqa, and it is divided into two departments: the first is the most important department, the “Health Control Office”. Its main task is to monitor the markets and control the goods in the shops. This division fines shop owners and the case is referred to the court in order to take the right decision. The second division is the “Meat Department”. It is responsible for monitoring all kinds of meat in the State. This department punishes those who slaughter [their animals] outside a slaughterhouse (00:45).

(01:33) Abu Ahmad, a shop owner: Al hamdulillah [Thank god], the Islamic State established the Control and Inspection Office, and it has played a good role. He who defrauds is not one of us من غش فليس منا [Islamic Saying]. However sometimes, the shop owner unwittingly forgets some products on the shelves, and other times, other shoppers do it on purpose, but God punishes them. They usually warn the owners the first time, and then they destroy their products if they repeat.

(02:27) Abu Qahtan, one of the Hisbah men: Bismillah ir-Rahmanir-Rahim [In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate], this is the Control and Inspection Office of the Islamic State. We seized large amounts of spoiled or expired products and products that were subject to poor storage. [This includes] food to beauty products. These products were seized in the shops of the Raqqa market, [and are valued at] approximately 2,000,000 SYP (11979.66 USD). We will destroy them now in front of everyone in this public square (03:12).

This footage was shot by a contributor who had clearance from the Islamic State to film in Raqqa. The footage was reviewed and approved by the Islamic State before being released.

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'Consumer Protection' in the Islamic ...
Raqqa
By TTM Contributor 20
04 Nov 2014

November 4, 2014
Raqqa, Syria

The Islamic State "Control and Inspection Office" gather and destroy expired or illegally smuggled cosmetics, beauty products, food products, and detergents. The products were destroyed under the prerogative of consumer protection. Since seizing control of Raqqa and large areas of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State has made a concerted effort to demonstrate an ability to govern the areas it controls.

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Securing the Sanctuary: YPG Fighters ...
Afrin
By Shirwan Qasim
04 Nov 2014

November 4, 2014
Afrin, Syria

While the Syrian-Kurdish cantons of Kobane and Qamishle remain under ISIS pressure and siege, the third Kurdish canton of Afrin is preparing to face any threats that may come its way and continue to be a refuge for minorities and other civilians fleeing ISIS, al-Nusra Front, and the Syrian Government. Part of these preparations involve the establishment of training camps for fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG. The commando training camp on the outskirts of Afrin is run by a woman named Busayna, who honed her military skills in the Qandil mountains of Iraq and now teaches them to the fighters of Afrin. Together with their male counterparts, the women of the YPG are now playing an integral part in securing one of the last safe Kurdish refuges in Syria.

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Indoctrination by ISIS: Deir ez Zour,...
Deir Ez-Zour
By abd alkareem
29 Oct 2014

October 2014
Deir Ez Zour, Syria

Foreign ISIS fighters in Deir Ez Zour declare their desire to confront the international coalition on the ground and personally behead them.

This rare footage provides a personalized look at the diversity and ideological determination of ISIS fighters. Some of the fighters originate from places as far flung as east Asia. Their fervor is matched in the Islamic State's efforts to spread their ideology amongst the local population, including children, using chilling mass execution videos.

Footage includes interviews with foreign ISIS fighters from east Asia and other places, footage of child indoctrination, fighters at prayer time, ISIS patrols and checkpoints, and more.

This footage was shot by a contributor who obtained approval from the ISIS media center to shoot video in the city. This footage was reviewed and approved by ISIS before it was delivered.

This is a highlight reel. A full 36:46 minutes of footage is available and provides more depth and detail.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This video was recorded by a Syrian contributor who is a resident of Deir ez Zour. He is not member of ISIS and has not sworn allegiance to the group. He obtained approval from ISIS to shoot video in the city and was escorted by an ISIS member while recording the video. He was required to submit the video to ISIS for screening and review. Some scenes were removed at the direction of ISIS before the contributor was permitted to distribute the final version of the video.

Shot List

00:00 – 00:12

A close up shot shows a billboard that reads: “The Islamic State congratulates the people of Mayadeen city for the establishment of the Islamic caliphate.”

The camera zooms out to show cars and motorcycles driving by an ISIS checkpoint below the billboard.

00:13- 00:22

Drivers slow down at an ISIS checkpoint. An ISIS fighter wearing combat fatigues and a knee-long shirt exchanges a few words with the drivers and shakes the hand of some of them before letting them through.

00:23 – 00:27

A close up shot shows an ISIS flag; the camera zooms out to show form below a fighter wearing desert camouflage fatigues standing to it.

01:17 – 01:25

An ISIS fighter recites the call for prayer. The fighter’s surrounding is pixilated.

01:26 – 01:36

Fighters pray inside a small room with the ISIS flag hanging on the wall.

01:37 – 01:46

Fighters drive around the town in a patrol car. Some of them have their faces covered. Two women wearing the niqab walk past the car.

02:28 – 02:51

A night shot shows an audience watching an ISIS propaganda film. Half naked prisoners of war can be seen on the screen, probably from the battle in which ISIS took over the regime-held Tabaqa Airport in the province of Raqqa in August 2014.

02:52 – 03:18

In the same location, man wearing a turban chants and children repeat after him:

“Oh man whose head is tied with a bandanna, where are you?

“All the tyrants are out there, but they do not dare to attack us. Oh man whose head is tied with a bandanna, where are you?"

“We defend [against the tyrants] with cars rigged with explosives, cannons and explosive belts. Oh man whose head is tied with a bandanna, where are you?”

03:19 – 03:24

In the same location, a close up shot shows one of the teenagers in the audience and the camera then zooms out to show a larger part of the crowd.

The speaker calls on the children to say Allahu Akbar (God is great).
The children shout: “Allahu Akbar!”

The speaker then say: “The State of Islam…”
The children complete his sentence, saying: “…shall remain!”

Interviews

00:28 – 00:37

(A fighter with Southeast Asian features is standing among other fighters who have similar features; classical Arabic with a heavy accent).

“This is a malicious crusader campaign waged by America against the beloved Islamic State.”

00:38 – 00:49

(A fighter sitting in a patrol car; Arabic)

“If they have America and Russia and the infidel powers on their side, we have God on ours. Anyone with a mind should think about this: Who will overcome, God almighty or America and its allies?”

00:50 – 01:07

(A fighter sitting in a patrol car; Arabic)

“Only what God has written shall happen to us. Neither America, nor [the Saudi rulers] or the entire world will be able to do [anything]. Our morale is high. By God, we shall defeat Bashar [al-Assad] and America, and purge Saudi Arabia from [the House of Saud].”

01:08 – 01:16
(A young boy sitting on the sidewalk; Arabic)

“My brother was sitting there and the warplane bombed… First we did not know what it really was.”

01:47 – 02:28

(A fighter holding a Kalashnikov rifle sitting next to another fighter; Arabic with a North African accent)

“They believe that they are bombing us from above while we are below; nay, with God’s will, we are above. We rely on God, and God is above everyone. We are above their strength and their weapons. With God’s will, we are waiting for them to cut their heads off. Soon, we will conquer them. We will take them and their women prisoners and sell them in the slave market. God willing, they will be our slaves.”

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Indoctrination by ISIS: Deir ez Zour,...
Deir Ez-Zour
By abd alkareem
28 Oct 2014

October 2014,
Deir Ez Zour, Syria

Foreign ISIS fighters in Deir Ez Zour declare their desire to confront the international coalition on the ground and personally behead them.

This rare footage provides a personalized look at the diversity and ideological determination of ISIS fighters. Some of the fighters originate from places as far flung as east Asia. Their fervor is matched in the Islamic State's efforts to spread their ideology amongst the local population, including children, using chilling mass execution videos.

Footage includes interviews with foreign ISIS fighters from east Asia and other places, footage of child indoctrination, fighters at prayer time, ISIS patrols and checkpoints, and more.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
This video was recorded by a Syrian contributor who is a resident of Deir ez Zour. He is not member of ISIS and has not sworn allegiance to the group. He obtained approval from ISIS to shoot video in the city and was escorted by an ISIS member while recording the video. He was required to submit the video to ISIS for screening and review. Some scenes were removed at the direction of ISIS before the contributor was permitted to distribute this final version of the video.

Shot list

00:00 – 00:51

A close up shot shows a billboard that reads: “The Islamic State congratulates the people of Mayadeen city the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.”

The camera zooms out to show cars and motorcycles driving by an ISIS checkpoint below the billboard.

00:52 – 01:18

Drivers slow down at an ISIS checkpoint. An ISIS fighter wearing combat fatigues and a knee-long shirt exchanges a few words with the drivers and shakes the hand of some of them before letting them through.

01:19 – 01:25

A pickup truck hoisting ISIS flag and carrying a motorcycle drives by the same checkpoint that appears in the establishing shot. Part of the shot is pixilated.

01:26 – 01:32

A close up shot shows an ISIS flag; the camera zooms out to show a fighter wearing desert camouflage fatigues standing to it.

01:33 – 01:39
A medium shot shows pickup trucks and vans driving by the same checkpoint featured in the establishing shot. Three fighters wearing dark Afghan style outfits can be seen.

01:40 – 01:51
A close up shot shows ISIS flag between the two barrels of an anti-aircraft machinegun. The camera zooms out to show a damaged building beneath the flag and a part vehicle on which the machine gun is mounted as well as a fighter’s hand laid on the machine gun.

01:52 – 02:00

A close up shot on the same flag and a zoom out shows the same machine gun in the previous shot, with a clearer view of the military pickup truck carrying the machine gun.

02:01 – 02:06

A medium shot a black sign on the front of a building that reads, from right to left: “The Islamic State; The Islamic Police in al-Mayadeen; The Province of the Good [the name that ISIS gave to Deir al-Zor province].” A Quranic verse written at the top of the sign reads: “The command is for none but God.” Four men can be seen on the headquarters’ balcony, talking. One of them is wearing an ammunition vest over his plain clothes.

(A fighter with Southeast Asian features is standing among other fighters who have similar racial features; he recites, with a heavy accent, a religious speech in classical Arabic inspired from Prophet Mohammad’s sayings.)

02:06 – 04:29

“In the name of God, thanks be to God. Thanks be to God who made jihad the most exalted element of Islam. Peace be upon he [the Prophet] who was sent with a sword and not a pen. Thanks be to God.

“This is a malicious crusaders’ campaign waged by America against the beloved Islamic State. It has only increased our resolution, strength and steadfastness. It also strengthened our belief that we are righteous, and that the Islamic State is following the Prophet’s path. Why? It is because infidels are never pleased with the rule of Islam.

“God almighty says [a verse from the Quran]: ‘Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion.’ He also says: ‘Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can,’ and Fain would they extinguish Allah´s light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest it.’

“Again, I say that this vicious and malicious crusaders’ campaign against the Islamic State, nay against the people of Islam has only increased our resolution, strength and steadfastness. God also says: ‘Men said to them: A great army is gathering against you: And frightened them, but it only increased their Faith. They said: For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’”

Interviewer: “What do you think of the countries that call themselves Islamic, yet participate in the war of the cross against the Islamic State?”

Fighter: “Thanks be to God. Countries that wrongfully call themselves ‘Islamic’ are tyrants. They do not apply the Islamic Sharia; they are fighting against Islam, mujahedeen [holy worriers] and anyone who wants to apply Islam.
These are not Islamic states; they are secular and infidel countries that do not differ from America or European countries.

“They are the tyrants whom Allah almighty ordered us to fight against with whatever might we have.”

(Two fighters; Arabic with accent from the Arabian peninsula)

04:30 – 8:29

Interviewer asks a question that is not very audible.

Fighter:
“Thanks be to God, and Peace upon God’s Messenger. By God, we have only increased in strength and steadfastness. Thanks be to God. By God, we did not even notice whether they bombed or not. We are very strong, God willing.

“The heavier the bombing against us becomes, the closer to God we become. We are firmly belive that God almighty will grant us victory. They [fight] with their strength, we [fight relying on] God almighty.”

Interviewer:
“As a Saudi, you know that the Saudi government has taken part in the war on the side of the Cross against the Islamic State. What is your position on that issue? What did you think when you knew that your country is fighting against the Islamic State?”

Fighter:
“Well, Thanks be to God, and Peace upon God’s Messenger, first of all, you are saying that I am ‘Saudi,’ in attribution to [the House of Saud] the tyrants, who rule the Arabian peninsula, it’s as if [the country] is theirs… We know their [position] before the start of this campaign, but now the picture is clear to the common people. We know that they bombed our brothers in Iraq and that warplanes were taking off from the Arabian Peninsula to bomb our brothers in Iraq and Yemen.

Interviewer:
“Did you already know that they are apostates?”

Fighter:
“Yes, we know, we know. We also know that they initiated ‘the war against terror,’ which is in fact a war against jihad. They want to extinguish the light of jihad. We know that they are infidels, but now the picture is clear for the common people of the Arabian Peninsula – those who still believed that America’s slave, the son of Saud [the Saudi monarch] is Muslim and defends Islam. Thanks be to God that the picture is clear to them. He bombed our brothers in Raqqa and al-Sham. By God’s will, this turn against them.”

Interviewer:

“Had you been in your country and heard that Saudi Arabia took part in the bombing against the Islamic State, what would you have done?”

Fighter:
“We would have fought against them. By God, we would have against them if we were in the Arabian Peninsula, either as part of the organization or individually. God willing, the youth of the Peninsula will fight against them as part of individual work – killing the tyrants’ soldiers – or as part of the organization. We are hopeful about that.”

Interviewer:
“Do you have any last word you would like to your friends in Saudi Arabia?”

Fighter:
“I would like to say to my brothers in the Arabian Peninsula to stand and start and start jihad. I know that some people cannot leave the country or are imprisoned; I say to them to start [fighting] inside. God almighty will grant them victory.”

Interviewer:
“[What do you say about] the clerics who gave fatwas to fight the Islamic State?”

Fighter:
“By God, they have not been to harm. This has only increased our steadfastness. We know that they have already been apostates – they were trying to preach to our brothers in the Prison of Hael [in Saudi Arabia] or other prisons, telling them that they are not fit for jihad. We hope that we could get hold of their necks.”

8:30 – 09:27

(A fighter sitting in a patrol car; Arabic)

“Thanks be to God almighty. We have only grown stronger and more attached to this path. We are like the Prophet’s companions before the Battle of al-Ahzab. They were told that the infidels are preparing themselves to fight against them and that they should fear them, but God only strengthened their faith.

“By God, we are only happier and believe that we are on the right path. We are the believers [mentioned in the Quran]: ‘A great army is gathering against you… but it only increased their Faith. They said: For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’”

“In the face of God might, they are worthless. If they have America and Russia and the infidel powers on their side, we have God on our side. Anyone who is religious and able to think should think about this: Who will overcome, God almighty or America and its allies?”

09:28 – 09:47

(A fighter sitting in a patrol car; Arabic)

“Only what God has written shall happen to us. Neither America, nor [the Saudi rulers] or the entire world will be able to do [anything]. Our morale is high. By God, we shall defeat Bashar [al-Assad] and America, and purge Saudi Arabia from [the House of Saud].”

09:48 – 10:11

(A fighter in the middle of the street wearing sunglasses; Arabic)

“We want them to be here on the ground to see heads being cuts, God willing. Thanks be to God, we are holding fast. If they want to fight the [Islamic] State and they believe they are strong, let them [fight us] on the ground. The [real] battle is on the ground, not fought with warplanes. God willing, their dead will go to hell and ours to heaven.

10:12 – 10:28

(A young boy sitting on the sidewalk; Arabic)

“We were over there and the airplane struck. We didn’t even see it but we saw smoke. “My brother was sitting there and the warplane bombed… First we didn’t know what it really was.”

10:29 – 11:14

Arab fighters are sitting outside house. Fighters who seem Southeast Asian come out and start preparing for the interview. An Arab fighter talks about one of the other fighters, saying he is Indonesian. An Arab fighter talks in classical Arabic: “The brother will talk as well holding the PKC [machine gun], and the others will stand guard.”

He then talks with an accent that sounds Tunisian: “I don’t to appear in the frame.” Then he laughs and says in French: “Action! I mean ‘Action’ [pronounced in English], I’m sorry, they didn’t understand [the word in French].”

11:15 – 11:17

The same Asian fighters sit inside a house.

11:18 – 11:27

A close shot shows a PKC machinegun the camera then zooms out to show one of the Asian fighters talking with an Arab fighter inside a house.

11:28 – 11:43

An ISIS fighter recites the call for prayer. The fighter’s surrounding is pixilated.

11:44 – 11:55
Fighters pray inside a small room with the ISIS flag hanging on the wall.

11:56 – 12:06
Some of the fighters stand around finishing their prayers.

12:07 – 12:24
The camera zooms in to show, from behind, ISIS fighters in a pickup truck carrying with a machinegun mounted on it.

12:25 – 12:51
A right traveling shot shows verses from the Quran and sayings by the Prophet neatly graphitized and then a destroyed building.

12:52 – 13:17

A close shot taken from a moving car shows the same fighters in a military pickup truck shown earlier. One of the fighters waves to someone. Two women wearing the niqab walk past the vehicle. The car then takes turn left. Another woman wearing the niqab can be seen walking in the street.

13:18 – 13:20

A medium shot shows four women wearing the niqab walking.

13:21 – 13:33
A general shot shows shops. A sign outside a clothing shop reads: “Women’s beauty lies in their modesty.”

13:34 – 14:44

A general shot shows the vegetables and meat market and then ISIS fighters standing guard next to a sign that reads: “Parking reserved for the electricity company vehicles.” Two men carrying Kalashnikov rifles walk with a child.

14:45 – 15:29

A general shot shows ISIS flags on the side of the road.

15:30 – 16:00

A distant shot shows ISIS fighters standing in a public square and religious police car drives by making an announcement an announcement on loud speakers. The same fighters go and talk to some of shop owners and shake their hands.

16:01 – 16:34

A medium shot shows fighters talking to a civilian man who puts his hands on his head – this is usually a sign of respect or even obedience.

16:35 – 18:13

A medium shot shows ISIS flags on electric pole in the same square; the camera then zooms out to show fighters and women wearing the niqab. The camera then zooms in on an adjacent street.

18:14 – 18:55
A medium shot taken from a moving car shows ISIS flags planted around a roundabout.

18:56 – 19:19
A right traveling shot shows children doing their ablutions in preparation for prayers then men standing near them or walking. Other men can be seen already doing their prayers in the nearby hall.

19:20 – 19:37

A medium shot shows men praying; the camera zooms in on the verse from the Quran: “Prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.”

19:38 – 19:45
A medium shot of an elderly man reciting the call for prayer inside the mosque. All the men stand in rows to start praying.

19:46 – 20:08
Men walk out of the mosque while it is dark outside.

20:09 – 20:15

A medium shot shows a demolished checkpoint and broken trees.

20:16 – 20:45

A medium shot shows a different angle of the same location. The caption reads: “The Political [Security] building – a previous headquarters of the [Islamic] State that was bombed by the regime’s warplanes.”

20:46 – 21:20
A medium shot shows a different angle of the same location. The caption reads: “The Political [Security] building – a previous headquarters of the [Islamic] State that was bombed by the regime’s warplanes.”

21:21 – 21:52
A medium shot shows a different angle of the same location. A gate remains standing with graffiti that reads: “God is great;” “Thanks be to God;” “I beseech God for forgiveness.”

The caption reads: “The Political [Security] building – a previous headquarters of the [Islamic] State that was bombed by the regime’s warplanes.”

21:53 – 22:05
A saying by the second Caliph in Islam Omar bin al-Khattab is graphitized on a concrete guard booth in the same location. Part of the graffiti is covered with rubble.

22:06 – 22:22

Fighters shown in a previous shot talking to civilian in a public square conclude their conversation and leave.

22:23 – 22:28

A patrol car drives by on a main road.

22:34 – 22:53

(A fighter holding a Kalashnikov rifle sitting next to another fighter; Arabic with a North African accent)

“The American has only strengthened us and raised our morale and strengthened our belief in God almighty.

“We know that they are losers and cowards, and that they cannot do anything. They thought that they are they are bombing us from above while we are below; nay, with God’s will, we are above. We rely on God, and God is above everyone. God is above their strength and their weapons. With God’s will, we are waiting for them to cut their heads off. Soon, we will conquer them. We will take them and their women prisoners and sell them in the slave market. God willing, they will be our slaves.

“Our morale is becoming stronger, with the will of God. Their strikes will only strengthen our belief in God almighty.”

23:55 – 25:34

Fighters drive by in a patrol car in the market while two young boys watch. Fighters (who appear in a previous shot) get out of the car and walk in the market, saluting people.

25:35 – 25:42

Two children make the victory sign, and say “Takbeer” (a call to say “Allahu Akbar” or God is great). The cameraman says “Allahu Akbar.”

25:43 - 26:22

Verses from the Quran and the Prophet’s saying are graphitized on a wall lining a main road.

26:23 – 27:03

A medium shot shows fighters in a patrol car (shown before) from behind. The fighters stop again to talk to people standing on the side of the road who look apprehensive while listening.

27:04 – 28:03

A night shot shows a man preaching during a public gathering.

“We say to you, dearly beloved, that we are your sons. If we have made mistakes, it is because we are not infallible; we are not angels who were descended from heaven. If we didn’t make mistakes we wouldn’t be human, God forbid. We make mistakes and we do things right – this is human nature. But we do not make mistakes on purpose.

“For whoever has been wronged, our backs and skins are ready to succumb God almighty’s law. Do not be scared; you can complain against anyone who assaults you, whether he is an emir [official] or a low-ranking fighter and you will be given your right, with the will of God.”

28:03 – 28: 30

A shot of the same man preaching at the same event.

“Be patient and do not forget to pray for brothers [Islamic State fighters]. The days to come will change the course of history, with God’s will. America came with its allies, promising to defeat us, and has been aided by the treacherous Arab rulers. God almighty promised to grant us victory.”

28:31- 29:18

A night shot at the same event shows an audience watching an ISIS propaganda film. A caption on the screen reads: “Tracking herds of the Alawite army fleeing the airport.
In the audience, children are seated in the front rows and watching attentively.

29:19 – 31:13

In the same propaganda film, warplanes can be seen – probably captured from the regime. The hymn that accompanies the footage says: The State of Islam will crush all borders… It is here to remain.” Half naked prisoners of war can be seen on the screen, probably from the battle in which ISIS took over the regime-held Tabaqa Airport in the province of Raqqa in August 2014.

31:14 – 33:15
A speaker says: “The State of Islam…”
Children complete his sentence, saying: “…shall remain!”

He then calls on children to say Allahu Akbar (God is great).
The children shout: “Allahu Akbar!”
The speaker then announces that a man called Abu Omar will recite verses from the Quran.

Abu Omar recites verses from the Quran about jihad while the sound of the generator can be heard in the background.

33:16 – 33:46
The preacher who appears in a previous shot appears again, explaining the verses recited by Abu Omar, stressing that God does not love traitors.

He adds: “All the nations are unleashed against us like dogs. America and the West are driven by the Cross and headed by God enemy [US President Barack] Obama. They came with their warplanes to defeat us. But God says that defends those who believe.”

33:47 – 34:13

In the same location, a man wearing a turban chants and children repeat after him:

“Oh man whose head is tied with a bandanna, where are you?

“All the tyrants are out there, but they do not dare to attack us. Oh man whose head is tied with a bandanna, where are you?

“We defend [against the tyrants] with cars rigged with explosives, cannons and explosive belts. Oh man whose head is tied with a bandanna, where are you?”

34:14 – 34:19

The speaker calls on the children to say Allahu Akbar (God is great).
The children shout: “Allahu Akbar!”

The speaker then say: “The State of Islam…”
The children complete his sentence, saying: “…shall remain!”

34:20 – 35:07

The same speaker continues: “Beloved ones, they said that the Islamic State withdrew from Deir al-Zor, is it true? Who has heard this? Are you certain now that this media is full of lies? That it is a failure; fakes the truth; looks after profit and serves the benefit of tyrants? This is the function of media. Media only was created to misrepresent Islam and serve the House of [Saud] and the House of Khalifa [the rulers of Bahrain] and tyrants in all places times.

35:08 – 35:28

A close up shot shows the same speaker.

“With God’s will, we shall remain despite them. [The Islamic State] shall remain the Province of the Good – Deir al-Zor. We send this message to the Hebrew channel [a play on words to degrade Al-Arabiya] and Al-Jazeera and all the other satellite channels of wrongdoing.”

35:29 – 36:46

A speaker stands next to teenagers, and asks the crowd to say “Allahu Akbar” loud enough so that Obama can hear it. When they say it, he laughs, saying that their voice will only reach the US Secretary of State.

He then chants a hymn, with children repeating after him: “We shall stay here so that pain is gone. We shall live here; the melody shall be sweet. Oh my state, my state.”

Interviews

(A fighter with Southeast Asian features is standing among other fighters who have similar racial features; he recites, with a heavy accent, a religious speech in classical Arabic inspired from Prophet Mohammad’s sayings.)

02:06 – 04:29

“In the name of God, thanks be to God. Thanks be to God who made jihad the most exalted element of Islam. Peace be upon he [the Prophet] who was sent with a sword and not a pen. Thanks be to God.

“This is a malicious crusaders’ campaign waged by America against the beloved Islamic State. It has only increased our resolution, strength and steadfastness. It also strengthened our belief that we are righteous, and that the Islamic State is following the Prophet’s path. Why? It is because infidels are never pleased with the rule of Islam.

“God almighty says [a verse from the Quran]: ‘Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion.’ He also says: ‘Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can,’ and Fain would they extinguish Allah´s light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest it.’

“Again, I say that this vicious and malicious crusaders’ campaign against the Islamic State, nay against the people of Islam has only increased our resolution, strength and steadfastness. God also says: ‘Men said to them: A great army is gathering against you: And frightened them, but it only increased their Faith. They said: For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’”

Interviewer: “What do you think of the countries that call themselves Islamic, yet participate in the war of the cross against the Islamic State?”

Fighter: “Thanks be to God. Countries that wrongfully call themselves ‘Islamic’ are tyrants. They do not apply the Islamic Sharia; they are fighting against Islam, mujahedeen [holy worriers] and anyone who wants to apply Islam.
These are not Islamic states; they are secular and infidel countries that do not differ from America or European countries.

“They are the tyrants whom Allah almighty ordered us to fight against with whatever might we have.”

(Two fighters; Arabic with accent from the Arabian peninsula)

04:30 – 8:29

Interviewer asks a question that is not very audible.

Fighter:
“Thanks be to God, and Peace upon God’s Messenger. By God, we have only increased in strength and steadfastness. Thanks be to God. By God, we did not even notice whether they bombed or not. We are very strong, God willing.

“The heavier the bombing against us becomes, the closer to God we become. We are firmly belive that God almighty will grant us victory. They [fight] with their strength, we [fight relying on] God almighty.”

Interviewer:
“As a Saudi, you know that the Saudi government has taken part in the war on the side of the Cross against the Islamic State. What is your position on that issue? What did you think when you knew that your country is fighting against the Islamic State?”

Fighter:
“Well, Thanks be to God, and Peace upon God’s Messenger, first of all, you are saying that I am ‘Saudi,’ in attribution to [the House of Saud] the tyrants, who rule the Arabian peninsula, it’s as if [the country] is theirs… We know their [position] before the start of this campaign, but now the picture is clear to the common people. We know that they bombed our brothers in Iraq and that warplanes were taking off from the Arabian Peninsula to bomb our brothers in Iraq and Yemen.

Interviewer:
“Did you already know that they are apostates?”

Fighter:
“Yes, we know, we know. We also know that they initiated ‘the war against terror,’ which is in fact a war against jihad. They want to extinguish the light of jihad. We know that they are infidels, but now the picture is clear for the common people of the Arabian Peninsula – those who still believed that America’s slave, the son of Saud [the Saudi monarch] is Muslim and defends Islam. Thanks be to God that the picture is clear to them. He bombed our brothers in Raqqa and al-Sham. By God’s will, this turn against them.”

Interviewer:

“Had you been in your country and heard that Saudi Arabia took part in the bombing against the Islamic State, what would have done?”

Fighter:
“We would have fought against them. By God, we would have against them if we were in the Arabian Peninsula, either as part of the organization or individually. God willing, the youth of the Peninsula will fight against them as part of individual work – killing the tyrants’ soldiers – or as part of the organization. We are hopeful about that.”

Interviewer:
“Do you have any last word you would like to your friends in Saudi Arabia?”

Fighter:
“I would like to say to my brothers in the Arabian Peninsula to stand and start and start jihad. I know that some people cannot leave the country or are imprisoned; I say to them to start [fighting] inside. God almighty will grant them victory.”

Interviewer:
“[What do you say about] the clerics who gave fatwas to fight the Islamic State?”

Fighter:
“By God, they have not been to harm. This has only increased our steadfastness. We know that they have already been apostates – they were trying to preach to our brothers in the Prison of Hael [in Saudi Arabia] or other prisons, telling them that they are not fit for jihad. We hope that we could get hold of their necks.”

8:30 – 09:27

(A fighter sitting in a patrol car; Arabic)

“Thanks be to God almighty. We have only grown stronger and more attached to this path. We are like the Prophet’s companions before the Battle of al-Ahzab. They were told that the infidels are preparing themselves to fight against them and that they should fear them, but God only strengthened their faith.

“By God, we are only happier and believe that we are on the right path. We are the believers [mentioned in the Quran]: ‘A great army is gathering against you… but it only increased their Faith. They said: For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’”

“In the face of God might, they are worthless. If they have America and Russia and the infidel powers on their side, we have God on our side. Anyone who is religious and able to think should think about this: Who will overcome, God almighty or America and its allies?”

09:28 – 09:47

(A fighter sitting in a patrol car; Arabic)

“Only what God has written shall happen to us. Neither America, nor [the Saudi rulers] or the entire world will be able to do [anything]. Our morale is high. By God, we shall defeat Bashar [al-Assad] and America, and purge Saudi Arabia from [the House of Saud].”

09:48 – 10:11

(A fighter in the middle of the street wearing sunglasses; Arabic)

“We want them to be here on the ground to see heads being cuts, God willing. Thanks be to God, we are holding fast. If they want to fight the [Islamic] State and they believe they are strong, let them [fight us] on the ground. The [real] battle is on the ground, not fought with warplanes. God willing, their dead will go to hell and ours to heaven.

10:12 – 10:28

(A young boy sitting on the sidewalk; Arabic)

“We were over there and the airplane struck. We didn’t even see it but we saw smoke. “My brother was sitting there and the warplane bombed… First we didn’t know what it really was.”

22:34 – 22:53

(A fighter holding a Kalashnikov rifle sitting next to another fighter; Arabic with a North African accent)

“The American has only strengthened us and raised our morale and strengthened our belief in God almighty.

“We know that they are losers and cowards, and that they cannot do anything. They thought that they are they are bombing us from above while we are below; nay, with God’s will, we are above. We rely on God, and God is above everyone. God is above their strength and their weapons. With God’s will, we are waiting for them to cut their heads off. Soon, we will conquer them. We will take them and their women prisoners and sell them in the slave market. God willing, they will be our slaves.

“Our morale is becoming stronger, with the will of God. Their strikes will only strengthen our belief in God almighty.”

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Inside Kobane (Video)
Kobane
By Shirwan Qasim
27 Oct 2014

Kobane, Syria

This video shows the destruction inside Kobane after weeks of ISIS siege. Conditions in the city are dire as medications are not available. All Kurdish fighters in the city are volunteers. This footage was shot on Kobane's eastern front, approximately 400 meters from the nearest ISIS position.

Male YPG Fighter:

"Nobody can beat the Kurdish population. I want to ensure the Kurds that no power can take Kobane, or evict us from Kobane. We will not allow anyone to enter our land. If we lose our land, we lose our dignity and honor."

Injured Child:

"ISIS have attacked us from the telecommunication tower. My mother and I were going to get water, and we were attacked by snipers."

A female fighter from the women protection unit of the YPG:

"I joined the women protection unit to protect my people and my country."

"The criminals who are attacking our homes, our children, and our siblings have taken everything in the city and left nothing for us. I ask all the men who left the city to return to it and defend it. I invite them to carry their weapons because each and every one of us is entitled to do something for Kobane."

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Inside Kobane
Kobane
By Shirwan Qasim
18 Oct 2014

Kobane, Syria
October 18-22, 2014

As the battle for Kobane rages, one journalist smuggled himself into the besieged battle zone get a first hand look at the destruction wrought on the this small, but strategically important Syrian city.

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Syrian Kurdish Female Fighter Trainin...
Kobani
By hoger
17 Oct 2014

October 17, 2014
Kurdish training camp located between Qamishli and Kobane, Syria

Kurdish women who signed up for a military training camp to defend their towns from ISIS, speak about the reasons why they decided to join the Kurdish Peoples Protection Unit (YPG). Most are motivated by a desire to help repel ISIS attacks on their homes. They speak also about their lives in the camp.

Note that any woman who joins the force is given a new name, different from her original.

Shot list:

Fighters training (both women and men)
Interview with female fighters
Female fighters eating lunch
Female fighters shooting
Kurdish female fighter at checkpoint
Photos of fighters who lost their lives in the conflicts
Female fighters marching

Sound Bites:

(02:38) Naline, a 19-year-old fighter from al-Qamishli: I was a school student, every time I went to school I felt fear, so I quit temporarily to defend my land and country, to protect my friends from the fear that I felt and to help people live in safety and security. I sacrificed my future to help build other's (02:45).

نالين (19 سنة) من قرى ريف القامشلي تقول: "كنت طالبة، وكنت اذهب دائما الى مدرستي والخوف ينتابني لذلك تركت المدرسة مؤقتا كي ادافع عن ارضي ووطني وازيل الخوف عن صديقاتي الاخريات ولكي ينعم الناس جميعا بالامان". وتضيف: "ضحيت بمستقبلي كي أبني مستقبل غيري".

(01:25) Zaline, a 21-year-old fighter: We carried our weapons and went to the front to fight ISIS, our enemy. They fear our weapons and are shocked by our strength. Life here is not ordinary, you do not find the lies, the betrayal and the hypocrisy you find in a normal life. Here you find true friendship. We want everyone to know that a woman is not different to a man when it comes to defending her country. We ask women all over the world not to underestimate themselves and believe that they are able to accomplish anything (02:00).

زالين (21 سنة) المقاتلة تقول: "حملنا السلاح لنقاتل في جبهة واحدة، يدا بيد. العدو المتمثل بتنظيم "داعش" وغيره (من المجموعات) يخشى سلاحنا وقد تفاجأ بقوتنا. الحياة هنا تختلف عن الحياة العادية، فهنا لا يوجد كذب أو نفاق أو خيانة. هنا، تفتدي (كل مقاتلة) الأخريات بروحها، والصداقة موجودة بأسمى صورها ومعانيها. نريد ان يقتنع الجميع بأن المرأة لا تقل عن الرجل في ما يخص الدفاع عن الوطن، كما نطالب نساء العالم جميعا بألا يقللن من شأن أنفسهن، وأن يقتنعن بأن المراة باستطاعتها فعل أي شيء".

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Kobane: FSA Faction Joins Fight Again...
Kobane
By TTM Contributor 4
05 Oct 2014

October 5-6, 2014
Kobane, Syria

The frontlines in the city of Kobani/Ain al-Arab where several FSA battalions have a arrived from different fronts to fight along side the Kurdish fighters defending the city against IS. This footage was shot on the edges and inside the city of Kobane on the 5th and 6th of October, 2014.

Shot List
1- statement of formation of the joint operations room under the name of Tigris Volcano
2- shot if fighters from the Al kasas Army
3- shots of clashes between Al Kasas army and IS
4- shot of a fighter firing an RPG during the clashes
4- shots of clashes with light and medium weapons
5- shots of fighters from Al Kasas army heading to the clashes area
6- shots of snipers and sniper activity
7- shots of clashes with IS

interviews and transcripts:

00:03-00:27 "In the name of God, the merciful, the almighty, he said: 'be united under God and do not be dispersed. Remember God's graces, for you are only enemies if you are so in your heart, but with God's grace you will be brothers.' The formation of a joint operations room under the name of Tigris Volcano is meant to stand against the injustice of the Baghdadi Mobs (IS)."

01:40-01:52 (Abu Abdallah) Commander of the Al Kasas battalion: "This is the formation of a unified operations room is meant to merge and organize operations. Of course, as he said in the statement, we are going to liberate Menbej, Raqqa and it's outskirts in the direction of Deir Ez Zour, God willing."

01:52-02:40 (Abu Abdallah) Commander of the Al Kasas battalion: "Of course the city of Ain al-Arab is a Syrian city and it's people are Syrian. We are fighting on Syrian soil and protecting the Syrian people. We are like those fighting in Qalamoun and Deraa and Ghouta, Idlib and Aleppo. God forbid, if we are forced to do a certain thing [retreat], we will go to another place and deploy our forces in more than one place and we will fight them everywhere. We will fight them to the last breath.
We have not received any support from the the government, or the Coalition, or the FSA, or their joint staff, or anyone at all. Be it through men, or gear or ammunition, we have not received anything at all, as if we are not part of the FSA

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Interviews with Captured IS Fighters
al-Jazeera
By TTM Contributor 25
23 Sep 2014

26 September 2014
A city in al-Jazeera district, North-East of Syria (exact location withheld)

Two IS prisoners, one of them injured, held captive by the Syrian-Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG) recount their experience fighting with the Islamic State group. Among other things, they provide an inside account of how training and bombing operations are carried out.

Shotlist:

Various shots of Mohamad, IS fighter
Various shots of Abd al-Kareem Mefleh (IS fighter) and the injuries on his body.

Soundbites:

Mohamad, IS fighter from the villages of al-Jazeera (Arabic):
(01:12) I've been working with them [IS] for 4 months. I was communicating with them through someone. They used to ask us to plant explosives in certain places. We made two explosions in the village of Hamkar and two explosions on the road to al-Jazaa in order to block the road and the confine the battles to the area of al-Jazaa. They [IS] paid us 100,000 SYP [625 USD] for each explosion.

We used to go to Tel Khamees, to al-Ghol, and they took us to Raqqa once. They taught us how to plant explosives and when to blow them up so we can cause as many injuries and as much damage as possible. Afghan experts used to sit me down, bring a bomb, and teach me how to connect it to the right machines. [They taught me] How to plant it [bomb] and burry it. [They taught me] how far away I should go [from the bomb] before I set it off and how long it takes to explode after I click the button. I was trained in al-Shaddade. They used to bring all of their fighters and people who work with them to al-Shaddade and train them there. Once you have completed the learning process, you are allowed to deal with bombs and you will have to set up an explosion in any area they request. The communication was via cell phones. They call you and tell you to come to a specific village in the night and to go meet a specific person that will help you cross over. He [the person] provided me with a motorcycle, and told me to meet him in a specific place so he can give me bomb. He gave me the bomb and an amount of money and told me, “if you kill people from the PKK”-that is the area they were targeting back then-“if you kill people from the PKK, then you will get more money. If you do not kill people from the PKK then you will get nothing.”

They used to allow whoever wants to watch [executions] to gather in the square. It would be known that for example, tomorrow there will be an execution. They used to gather people to watch people get decapitated, so people would fear them". (04:03)

Abd al-Kareem Mefleh, IS fighter from the villages of al-Jazeera (Arabic):
(04:04) I was a fighter in over 4 brigades: al-Waha, al-Jazeera, al-Tawheed and al-Jihad movement of Ahrar al-Sham, and ISIS. I participated in so many of their battles and was injured here in my arm once and in my stomach. I was badly injured in one of the PPK battles and they [the PKK] took me to their hospitals and treated me and operated on me. I stayed in the hospital of the PPK for a long time getting treatments, they were kind to me and I want to thank them for their treatment.

They convinced us to fight with them to protect the area, and they convinced us that the PPK is going to take over the area and destroy all the Arabs. They convinced everyone of that idea. What we saw in reality was completely different, they treated us really well, even the PPK checkpoints here in the area, they treat us in a very good way.

After I was with al-Nusra, I switched to Ahrar al-Sham. They took me to a training camp. The camp was in Ras al-Ain. They told us we need to train in order to fight with them [PKK]. Saudi Arabia and Turkey were supporting us [Ahrar al Sham] the most, they used to send food baskets for us, our salaries and all our needs.

ISIS comes to an area, and those who do not follow their rules, will be either deported or mostly killed. According to the area, if the inhabitants of the area obey them, they will treat them well. If they do not obey them, they will deport them. The houses of the deported people are either burnt down or taken as a residence for IS members.
I saw on al-Arabiya that al-Nusra brigade punished an Alawite, accusing him of firing a canon against them from Kawkab to Tel Khamis. They punished him by cutting off his head.

They [IS] used to get people from Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and deport the men, and only let the women stay, and then marry them to the fighters. (08:04)

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The Undercover Woman in the 'Islamic ...
Raqqa
By Ahmad Mogharbel
15 Mar 2014

Spring 2014
Raqqa, Syria

This interview is a step-by-step account of the making of rare and exclusive footage of life inside Raqqa. In September 2014, her story went viral and captured the attention of the world.

Raghad, the courageous and defiant young activist woman who secretly shot the footage, explains how and why she risked certain death to capture the images of her hometown. She describes in detail her fears and ultimately her determination to tell the story of her city now under the secretive rule of the Islamic State.

Transcript:

00:00 – 00:50
I was following the news about Raqqa on the Internet and Facebook pages. In January [2014], after New Year’s Eve, all Facebook pages were talking about a war – Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham were fighting against the Islamic State. These problems lasted for about a week and people were banned from leaving their homes during that period. At the end, the Islamic State controlled Raqqa province completely. The day this happened, I felt that I should return to Raqqa.
00:51 – 01:17

Buying a niqab was a personal initiative. I knew a little bit how to hold a headscarf. I had never tried to wear [the niqab], not even jokingly. But I put it on and left the house.
Since I didn’t how to wear the niqab before, I went to a store and asked the owner to train me to put it on.

01:18 – 01:38
[On my way to Raqqa] I was thinking that I was about to see with my bare eyes everything that I had heard about. And because media and filming in Raqqa were banned and journalists were not allowed TO WORK there, anyone who is caught with a camera would definitely be executed.
01:40 – 02:03
It was very dangerous but I had this positive energy and I wanted to take advantage of it at the right time, especially that during the liberation period, before the Islamic State took over Raqqa, there was nothing that I could do, while everyone was trying to do something.
02:08 – 03:05
I bought a camera, a small one… I bought the camera and I started thinking of something to film.
But I was also hearing about the crime of working as a journalist – about what would happen to journalists. They do not want the true picture to come out; they just want people outside of Raqqa to be terrorized by the stories they hear but not to be able to see anything. I brought my small purse and I made a hole to precisely fit the camera’s lens and I decorated it with some accessories to hide it – and then I headed to Raqqa.
03:06 – 03:26 As soon as I left the house, the first thing that caught my eye was a signboard that advertised for niqab. I cannot remember the exact phrase; it was something like “We salute you, woman wearing the niqab.”
03:27 – 03:50 I kept walking -- the first thing that shocked me was the preaching office [it used to be a church and] the cross was demolished, the flag of the Islamic State was raised over it and the outside wall was painted black. I knew then that [the building] was turned into something called a “preaching office.”
03:51 – 04:21
I walked by the headquarters, and then I headed to the checkpoint and filmed it. This checkpoint was very dangerous – for a bike to pass through it had to be ridden by an Islamic State member. I guess God helped me and made it possible that they didn’t see me. For me, it was the most dangerous spot in the world. It was like the Bermuda triangle – whoever walks by would probably not make home. But thank God, I was able to get away.
04:22 – 05:26
I went back home, and the next day I went to an Internet café. My only purpose was to use the Internet in order to talk with some people.
The minute I sat in front of a computer, a mujahida – a female Islamic State member – headed towards me. She was Tunisian. I could not understand half of what she said; what I was able to understand was: “Would it be OK if you left the computer?” There wasn’t any other available computer. [The women] were in a group of about four or five.
I asked her: “Why?” I had only been sitting there for 10 minutes. She said: “Because I am a mujahida, I cannot leave my house at anytime and I am busy. You could leave the computer for me for about half an hour or an hour and then I will give it back to you.” I said: “Okay.”
I left the computer for her and went back home, then I brought the camera and returned.
05:30 – 06:11
I couldn’t understand what [the women] were saying. I tried to chat with them. I talked to the same woman who asked me to give her the computer. I asked her where she was from, she said: “God knows. I am from the country of the Muslims.” They are strange.
I talked to another woman, but she did not answer me. I addressed her so many times, but she did not talk to me at all. They have a problem COMMUNICATING with civilians. They are very careful. I really don’t know why. Time after time, I tried to talk to them and ask them why they came to Raqqa but they didn’t give me answer.
06:12 – 06:52
A French woman was the only one who answered my questions at the Internet café. I asked her: “Where are you from?” She answered: “I am from France.” So I asked: “Are you originally French?” She said: “Yes, I am from France and I lived in France.” I asked her: “What are you doing here?” She said: “I came here to fight Bashar [al-Assad] and the Free Syrian Army.” She went on, saying: “In a couple of days my 13-year-old daughter will get married and then I will be ready to blow myself up. Pray for me to become a martyr.”
06:53- 07:38
When I finished the first day of filming I went home to see the footage. There were things that I didn’t feel when I was on the ground. As I told you, I was somewhat nervous. I was concentrating on filming and getting a clear footage.
When I went back home, whenever I saw a scene in the video I would remember something specific. I saw fear. People’s looks showed they were lost. Nobody knew what was happening. What they knew was that there were decisions being made that they had to implement – they didn’t know where they were heading. Fear was terrible. Children, adults, and people in the MARKET, people queuing in front of bakeries – people everywhere were scared.
07:39 – 08:12
Girls wear a veil if they were of the age of 12 or above.
[At school], there were classrooms for girls and other ones for boys. Even during the recess… the playground would be available for 10 minutes for boys and another 10 minutes for girls. Art and music classes were also cancelled, and the [Islamic State] canceled the most important thing [the students] were working on, which is the capoeira project. It was over. 08:13 – 09:14
I once saw two Islamic State members – a woman, and someone who appeared to be her husband. Of course, she was a carrying a weapon.
Only women who were members of armed battalions could carry weapons.
I looked at them from a distance and saw a little child who was less than one year old. Both his mother and father were carrying weapons. When I saw this, I thought to myself: “What will this child become when he grows up?”
They went into a park and I followed them. They sat down, and I sat across from them – the minute I sat down I saw a religious police car inside the park. In the car, there was a man a woman – a member of the women’s battalion.
09:15- 10:09
I was still sitting, and the man started talking to me from a distance. I swear to God that I was wearing the niqab according to the strict Islamic manner. I was also wearing the abaya [a black cloak].
He said: “Do you think that the way you look is appropriate for going out?”
I walked up to him and the camera was still on. I told said to him: “I didn’t understand what you’re saying.” He said: “Do you think that the way you look is appropriate for going out?”
I said: “I am sorry, maybe I didn’t PAY attention to the pay I looked.”… I did not try to argue with him out of fear of the unknown – of what could happen to me – I was also scared because I was carrying a camera… I had heard about what happened to the woman who argued [with the religious police about the niqab]… He was Saudi.

10:10 – 10:35
The second time I had more courage. I knew how to move around, and where [Islamic State] members were concentrated. I also had in mind what was missing to have a complete picture [of the situation]. I had a “WORK plan,” as the saying goes. I had things in mind that I wanted to do.

10:36 – 11:52

Sometimes when I would go into a shop, I would find a mujahid [Islamic State fighter] with his wife… In the last phase of filming – this was about 20 days after I went [to Raqqa] – the presence of [Islamic State fighters] on the streets changed significantly. It was extremely heavy.
Maybe you’ve noticed in the previous videos; I would walk in the streets, and could barely see one or two of them. As I told you, I had to go to their headquarters to record their presence in the city. In the last phase, their presence was very noticeable. They moved in columns -- groups of about 10,15 or 20 people – and would go into shops. Fighters with their wives and children would go into stores to shop. They would buy things and PAY in cash, straight away, without any bargaining.
For example, I once went into a small mall – it is more like a supermarket – I found some of them filling up their shopping carts with every kind of delicious food.
11:53 – 12:18
About their salaries, I know that an immigrant fighter would get paid 1,200 US dollars [a month]. If his wife would be paid the same amount, or a bit less, they could afford an extremely comfortable life. Immigrant fighters have high salaries. Syrian fighters are paid 400 dollars. I’m certain of this INFORMATION.
12:19 – 12:37
The reason I was able to film freely is because I am a girl. Had they stared at me, they could have seen [the lens]. If someone wanted to be wily he could have discovered the camera; it was not very hidden.
12:40 – 13:25
Once, I was walking and a woman bumped her hand into me. The purse and camera fell from me.
I was often terrified of being caught. But I only felt scared when I walked by members of the women’s battalion. They would not search me, but they could inspect me more [than men would] – they could look more at my appearance and what I was carrying.
As I told you, if there was a battalion of male fighters or security members on the street, then I would not be very scared, to be honest. Sometimes I would walk closely behind them to film them and even try to record their voices.
13:26 – 14:10
I want to convey the [real] picture about the situation. I want to offer something to my raped city. Raqqa was violated and I still had not seen anything on the ground. I wanted to see with my own eyes and film [life in Raqqa]. When I would later sit on my own, I wanted to see the psychological impact [of what the Islamic Sate was doing].
While I was walking in the street and filming, I was scared. I could not concentrate 100 percent on what was happening around me. When I went back home and saw the footage, I was extremely depressed.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 14
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
20 Jun 2013

Kurdish YPG fighters at a position on the edge of Tal Abiyad.