Syrian Women Risk Certain Death, Secretly Film Life Inside ISIS Capital

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

Two women risked their lives to show life inside ISIS’s stronghold in Syria in a new video published Monday.

Swedish daily newspaper Expressen put hidden cameras on two Syrian women to illustrate life in ISIS-occupied Raqqa over the course of a few months. The women agreed to do it despite the risk of getting executed if they got caught.

The video shows a rare glimpse of everyday life in ISIS’s capital in northern Syria. Most other footage from the region is produced by ISIS for the benefit of the organization.


Both women said they wanted to leave Syria, but stuck around to help their pregnant friend get an abortion to escape execution. They have to wear several layers of headwear to cover their entire body and can’t leave their homes unaccompanied by a male. One group of women that does have power is the Hisbah, the female religious police. Their job is to patrol the streets and make sure every woman lives up to the dress code.

The women explain that people are forced to sell their blood to the hospital for the care of injured terrorists. Poor people get about $2.50 for 2.2 pounds of blood.

Footage also shows that the largest church in Raqqa has been turned into ISIS’s police quarters. Other churches and Christian monuments have been destroyed.

One image shows a man getting thrown from the tallest building in the city. The man in question was accused of being homosexual. He was detained and forced to learn and recite the Quran from cover to cover. The women thought he would be released and were surprised when they were called to witness his execution. Spectators were told not to film and not shout “Allahu Akbar” because he was Muslim.

It is also revealed that foreign fighters have a higher status than the Syrians. ISIS awarded exclusive estates to Europeans after dragging out the owners.

“Syrians are the errand boys in the organization,” one of the women said. “Living in the nicest houses are Europeans, from France, Sweden and other countries.”


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