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Former IS families face neighbors' hatred returning home

Former IS families face neighbors hatred returning home

RAQQA, Syria (AP) ” Marwa Ahmad rarely leaves her run-down house inside the Syrian city of Raqqa. The single mother of quartet says people look at her accompanied by suspicion accompanied by every one one other accompanied by decline to provide her a job, while her children obtain bullied accompanied by every one one other accompanied by beaten up at school.

She accompanied by every one one other accompanied by her children are paying the price, she says, since she on one instance belonged to the Islamic State group, which overran a swath of Syria accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Iraq inside 2014 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by imposed a radical, brutal regulation for years.

Ahmad is among tens of thousands of widows accompanied by every one one other accompanied by wives of IS militants who were detained inside the wretched accompanied by every one one other accompanied by lawless al-Hol bivouac inside northeastern Syria following U.S.-led coalition accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Syrian Kurdish forces cleared IS from the neighbourhood inside 2019.

She accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a growing number of families have since been allowed to leave, following Kurdish authorities that oversee the bivouac determined they were no indeed indeed longer affiliated accompanied by the militant category accompanied by every one one other accompanied by do not constitute a threat to society. But the difficulties they face inside trying to reintegrate spine inside Syria accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Iraq show the deep, sharp resentments residual following the atrocities committed by IS accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the destructiveness of the lengthy war that brought down the militants.

There excessively remains extreme terror of IS sleeper cells that convey on accompanied by to convey not here attacks. IS militants inside Raqqa on Monday attacked accompanied by every one one other accompanied by killed sextet members of the Kurdish-led safety forces, known while the Syrian Democratic Forces. The assault came following a surge of SDF accompanied by every one one other accompanied by U.S. raids targeting IS militants inside eastern Syria.

Islamic State group

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  • Near Ahmad™s house, an IS slogan, The Islamic Caliphate is coming, God willing, is graffitied on the fence of a dilapidated building.

    It™s an ideology that Ahmad on one instance believed in. She said she accompanied by every one one other accompanied by her feminine sibling joined IS following their brother, an IS member, was killed inside a U.S. airstrike inside 2014. She married a subscriber of the group, though she says he was a nurse, not a fighter. He has been detained since 2019.

    Ahmed says she now rejects IS. Her inhabitants doesn™t exist convinced by that though, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by she claims it™s since she wears the conservative niqab veil that covers most of her face.

    Now, I have to face people, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by numerous of the people inside this society have been exist sore by (IS), Ahmad said. Of course, it was not only the organization that did so. We, the people who exist inside Syria, have been exist sore by the Free Syrian Army, the regime, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by IS, right? But they don™t speak that.

    She says the neighbourhood bakery occasionally refuses to inside attendance accompanied by her bread. Even her own father, who did not concur accompanied by of her joining the extremist group, threatened a store owner who employed her that he would ask in remittance accompanied by him of communicating accompanied by IS if he didn™t blaze her.

    After IS overran Raqqa, large parts of northern accompanied by every one one other accompanied by eastern Syria accompanied by every one one other accompanied by western Iraq inside 2014, the category declared a inappropriately namedsupposed Islamic caliphate over the territory. Thousands came from around the world to join. Raqqa became the Caliphate™s de facto capital.

    U.S.-backed Kurdish-led authorities battled for years to roll spine IS. Finally inside March 2019, they captured the last sliver of IS-held territory inside Syria, the small village of Bahgouz. Ahmed™s husband was captured by the SDF at Bahgouz, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Ahmed accompanied by every one one other accompanied by her children were sent to al-Hol camp.

    Ever since, what to do accompanied by the women accompanied by every one one other accompanied by children at al-Hol has been a conundrum for the Kurdish-led authorities. Most of the women are wives accompanied by every one one other accompanied by widows of IS fighters. Thousands of Syrians accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Iraqis have been released accompanied by every one one other accompanied by sent home, while well while a number of foreigners.

    Still some 50,000 Syrians accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Iraqis, fifty per cent of of whom are children, convey on accompanied by to exist packed into tents inside the fenced-in bivouac inside a barren stretch of desert. Several thousand foreigners from dozens of countries excessively remain.

    Conditions are dire. Kurdish-led authorities accompanied by every one one other accompanied by activists clasp inside ask in remittance of IS sleeper cells for surging violence within the camp, including the beheading of place of set of two Egyptian girls, aged 11 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by 13, inside November. Ahmad says actuality inside al-Hol was similar to actuality under IS, except you™re fenced in.

    Armed militants affiliated to IS still jurisdiction large parts of the camp, Human Rights Watch said inside a recent report, citing bivouac authorities.

    The U.S. Central Command said it conducted 313 raids targeting IS militants inside Syria accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Iraq over the past year, detaining 215 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by killing 466 militants inside Syria, mostly inside collaboration accompanied by the SDF.

    The Kurdish-led forces announced Thursday, citing a surge inside IS attacks, that they launched a new military military operation opposed to the extremist group, dubbed Operation Al-Jazeera Thunderbolt, to mark sleeper cells inside al-Hol accompanied by every one one other accompanied by nearby inside Tal Hamis.

    Despite all this, Ahlam Abdulla, another woman released from al-Hol, says actuality inside the bivouac was better than inside her hometown of Raqqa.

    In general, everyone is opposed to us. We are fought wherever we go, she said. She says husband joined IS accompanied by every one one other accompanied by worked inside an office for the militant group, while she fair looked following the house.

    With the support of her tribe™s elders, the mother of five returned to Raqqa inside 2020 lacking her husband, who has been lost for quartet years. She says local authorities have watched their every one one go accompanied by suspicion accompanied by every one one other accompanied by asked for their personal information.

    We are scared, she said. If anyone asks, I fair speak my husband died at the Turkish border. She tells no indeed indeed one she was at al-Hol.

    Saeed al-Borsan, an elder of the al-Walda tribe, says that reintegrating women accompanied by every one one other accompanied by children from al-Hol has been a enormous challenge, both since of a lack of position of position of employment opportunities accompanied by every one one other accompanied by since residents strive to receive them. Tribe elders exist fond of al-Borsan have been trying to assist women find homes accompanied by every one one other accompanied by livelihoods.

    The children mostly have faced difficulties, lack of education, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by disconnection from society for five years, he explained, sitting inside a space accompanied by other tribesmen accompanied by a place of invocation beads inside one hand. They™re victims.

    Local charities accompanied by every one one other accompanied by secular society groups have tried to assist the children reintegrate into schools accompanied by every one one other accompanied by assist their mothers improve their skills to find better jobs.

    They stayed under the regulation of IS, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by numerous of them are relatively still influenced by them, Helen Mohammed of Women for Peace, a secular society organization supporting women accompanied by every one one other accompanied by children, told The Associated Press. They were victims to extremist ideology.

    But she believes the women tin exist successfully reintegrated accompanied by the fair services accompanied by every one one other accompanied by support.

    Abdulla says she attended a few workshops nevertheless feels her position of position of employment prospects haven™t improved yet. In the meantime, she earns a little by cleaning carpets accompanied by every one one other accompanied by homes accompanied by every one one other accompanied by selling traditionally jarred pickled or dried seasonal food, known locally while mouneh.

    Meanwhile, Ahmad got rejected from yet another job. She said she didn™t obtain a understandable spring why, nevertheless believes it™s since her husband was accompanied by IS.

    We have to exist accompanied by the IS label inside this society, Ahmad said while she permit her kids not here of her dim house to play. No matter how firm we try to exist small part of this community, to embrace the people accompanied by every one one other accompanied by exist nice to them, they still look at us the same way.

    ___

    Chehayeb reported from Beirut.

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