Vice filmmaker and News journalist Medyan Dairieh takes us into the horrifying world of the Sunni jihadist extremists. This hardlined jihadist group emerged out of the mayhem of the Syrian civil war, until recently the world knew them as ISIS, now they simply call themselves the Islamic State or IS.
The speed and efficiency in which they advanced from Syria into Iraq has caught the world by surprise, but it’s not only the groups military victories that have caught us by surprise, its also the pace in which its members have succeeded in carving our a viable state. During their advancement into Iraq, the group has captured cities, robbed local banks, and seizing huge amounts of weapons provided to the Iraqi military by the United States.
Growing in numbers, the groups members have come from all over the world, all wanting to be part of the caliphate, an Islamic state that now stretches through Syria and Iraq. And according to IS, this is just the beginning. We know very little about the inner workings of the group, but Medyan Dairieh gained exclusive access to the power-base in Raqqa. Here is Raqqa, IS if fending off daily air strikes from the Assad regime.
Islamic State press officer Abu Mosa has agreed to take the Vice crew to see the front-lines. We see disturbing footage of men lying beheaded in the street, illustrating the threat the group poses. They patrol the streets enforcing their religious standards, encouraging citizens to report any transgressors, even if they are family members. We witness one man being stopped in the street and instructed to have his wife change the fabric of her veil, though the situation seems calm, it’s clear the requester is not asking, but telling.
The influence of the enforcers is quite clear to the locals, those who have dared to go against the IS laws are full of self-blame, acquiescent to the fact their punishment to be the will of Allah. Disobedience will not be tolerated by man or God, and especially the IS.