The Wall Street Journal reports: Westerners who joined Islamic State once enjoyed not only power and social status but also free food, housing and even cars. But that gave way to cowering in basements during air raids, dwindling food stocks and scant medical care, according to Syrians who have fled and diplomats who debriefed defectors.
“Father, help me,” a teenager from Europe said about six months ago in a text message to her father. “I want to get out. But I now have a small child.”
The father, who declined to be identified, said he had previously made several attempts to persuade his daughter to return from Raqqa after she left to join Islamic State in late 2013.
Speaking by phone and Facebook messenger from his home in Scandinavia, the father said he asked his government for help but that there is little authorities can do. She would first have to get to Turkey, according to government officials of her home country who corroborated the father’s story.
She remains in Raqqa, too scared to flee for fear of being caught, according to her father. [Continue reading…]