“We were looking for paradise but all we got was hell”

“We were looking for paradise but all we got was hell,” she said during an interview at a makeshift detention center inside a displaced persons camp 40 miles north of Raqqa, where she is being held by US-backed Syrian-Kurdish forces along with other suspected ISIS wives and their children.

“The big proof that (ISIS) are not good people is that they’re losing everything now,” she said. “Those who are victorious are on the right way. But, you know, they are losing. They are just retreating.”…

Now, with the group in retreat and US-backed Kurdish-led forces taking over, none of the women would say they supported ISIS. All made claims that were impossible to prove. They denied their husbands or fathers were hardened ISIS fighters, or insisted they were ignorant of the men’s actions and of ISIS’s many crimes. They appealed for help and mercy, if only for their kids. Many seemed to have problems with their extended families, and were consumed with shame about the consequences of their choices for their families.