Whether they joined their husbands willingly or not, many wives of ISIS militants say the group’s extremist members are desperate for their families to leave as Iraqi armed forces inch their way closer to recapturing towns close to the center of Mosul.
“We wish for nothing except to go back to our home countries. We regret our decisions to come here and join our husbands in the first place,” one woman, who wished to remain unnamed, told Al Arabiya.
Iraqi forces on Monday seized control of al-Farouq district on the northwestern side of Old Mosul on Monday. The neighborhood is located on the opposite side of the historic al-Nuri Mosque, which was destroyed by ISIS last week.
In Raqqa, US-backed fighters seized a quarter of Syria's Raqqa from ISIS group, a monitor said Monday, less than three weeks after they first entered the northern city.
Noor al-Huda al-Qassim is one of the wives who managed to escape by help from her own husband, who said the situation in Raqqa was growing so desperate that he forced his wife to pose as a refugee and flee with civilians.
“My husband came to me and said what is important for now is that you leave the state (ISIS) and we’ll find you a way to reach your family,” she said.
Many women joined ISIS back in 2014 willingly after the militant group opened up a “marriage bureau” for women who wanted to marry its militants in Syria. However, women who escaped the group told Al Arabiya that many quickly became disillusioned once they realized the reality of life under ISIS rule.
“Above all, we regret joining a group that deviated from Islam,” the unnamed ISIS wife said.
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