After 5 years of war, Islamic State’s de-facto capital, Raqqa, has been surrounded. On the east side of the city, the road to Raqqa passes the base of the Kurdish women’s protection units and a base for foreign volunteers, as well as a field hospital. Our film crew came here to obtain exclusive frontline footage and talk to the people fighting ISIS militants.
The Egyptian village of Al-Ur is now known as “The Village of Martyrs” because in a day, 20 of its residents died. They had all gone to Libya to find work but were kidnapped by ISIS and on February 15, 2015, beheaded for their Christian faith. They are now mourned by family and friends but also honoured as saints.
When in August 2014, ISIS invaded regions near Mount Sinjar in Iraq, the terrorists killed and abducted thousands of local Yazidi people many of them women and children who they sold openly at slave markets. The captives have had no one they could count on for help until one man decided to take on ISIS.
The YPJ is the women’s division of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units formed to fight against ISIS, RTD correspondents were given exclusive access to spend 3 weeks at their boot camp. The young women who train for combat there, decided not to leave their survival to fate but to fight for their lives and their future. For their enemy, being killed by a woman means going to hell.
In modern day Turkey, hundreds from the Kurdish minority in the South-East are said to be dying at the hands of government forces. The Kurds have long been seeking autonomy for their region. The subject is rarely seen in the Turkish media as journalists who cover the issue have often been detained.
People on the streets of Kabul call Abbas Alizada the “Afghan Bruce Lee.” After his striking resemblance to the Chinese martial arts icon made him a social media star, he took a year to work on himself and become even more like his hero. His makeover was a smashing success. Today, Abbas uses his celebrity to inspire other young Afghan athletes, but fame has come with a price – he now must be wary every time he leaves his house.
Losing its strongholds in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has made a pivot to Asia, opening up a new battleground. In the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, two local radical Islamic groups pledged alliance to ISIS and captured the city of Marawi. Now deserted, the town once had a population of some 250,000. Residents are accommodated in evacuation centres, while the Army searches abandoned houses for militants and arms caches.
In Syria, there are more than a hundred militant groups fighting against the State Army. Unusually, President Bashar al-Assad has offered an amnesty to militants who surrender. Any who haven’t completed mandatory military service are returned to the Army. RT Doc gained access to a unit comprised of amnestied soldiers.
ISIS oil trade documents, testimonies of local civilians and captured ISIS militants: RT Documentary crew visits Syrian oil town of Shaddadi just ten days after it was liberated from ISIS. Exclusive results of RT Doc investigation.