New Video Uncovers Life in IS-Controlled Syrian City of Raqqa

New Video Uncovers Life in IS-Controlled Syrian City of Raqqa
Mia Fitzharris

A new video is giving a rare glimpse of the terrifying life inside Raqqa, Syria. The area was overtaken nearly 18 months ago by the Islamic State militant group (also known as ISIL and ISIS). The video originally aired this week on the French TV channel France 2. The video portrays a society of forced prayers, a ban on music and entertainment, and mandatory niqabs (restrictive full coverings) for women. A brave Syrian female student shot the undercover video, which shows men and women carrying weapons in the busy streets, even near children.
At one point in the video, a man pulls up to the camerawoman in a car and chastises her about her too-transparent veil. He tells her, "God loves covered women."
The video was shot in February and April of this year. Its purpose was to expose the conditions under which Syrian women now live, and also to tell the story of 150 French women who have moved to the area to marry jihadists or join their extremist husbands fighting there, to care for orphans and support the cause. In one scene, French women speak to their loved ones via Skype in the women-only section of an Internet café. One woman says, "I'm not going back, mama.… You have to get it through your head that I am not returning."