When foreign fighters join ISIS, they are asked to provide the phone numbers of family members back at home. They are mothers, brothers and cousins, and these are their stories.
It’s far easier to join ISIS than to leave. Members of a hidden community of ISIS defectors recount how they were pulled into the grip of extremism — and their struggle to escape. Mike Giglio and Munzer al-Awad report for BuzzFeed News from the Syrian border.
A cache of documents used by ISIS to register foreign fighters, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, reveals the personal details of jihadis who normally keep to the shadows. Thousands of pages of bureaucratic details tell their stories for the first time.
Confusion in the Obama administration’s Syria policy is playing out on the ground as U.S.-backed groups begin battling each other.
An internal report by affiliates of the World Health Organization provided to BuzzFeed News said the attack marked “an unprecedented increase in the number of attacks on healthcare in one single day.”
As government forces are close in on rebel-controlled territory in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, observers worry that civilians will bear the brunt of the retribution — again.
A phone number scratched on a prison wall leads to a meeting with a man who was held prisoner by ISIS. He tells BuzzFeed News about the horrific treatment he endured.
Sources tell BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio that Nabil Fadli, who blew himself up in Istanbul’s tourist district this week, was a former dental student who appeared to leave deliberate clues about his identity.
The bombing that killed at least 10 foreign citizens could draw Turkey deeper into the fight against ISIS. BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio reports from Turkey.
The blast took place in the Sultanahmet district — an area popular with tourists visiting the Turkish city’s Blue Mosque. Some 15 people were wounded. Turkey’s Prime Minister said ISIS were behind the attack.
“I was in my home, and it was like a grave,” said 57-year old Sarkis Kirbukiyle, who lived under ISIS. BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio reports from Syria.
“There are things above description, above words. People are drinking water and salt and citric acid to kill the pain that comes with hunger.” Warning: Images and videos in this post may be disturbing to some readers.
Despite the threat of jail or worse, the people of Raqqa still want the tobacco and alcohol that ISIS has banned. BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio reports from Syria.
In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, Western leaders ramped up airstrikes against ISIS. But the real fight is happening on the ground. Mike Giglio reports from the Syrian front for BuzzFeed News.
“It’s a miserable life, but people feel they don’t have another choice,” a woman who paid a smuggler to escape Raqqa, told BuzzFeed News.
“If we don’t go to Raqqa, who will?” a young YPG fighter told BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio, who is reporting from Syria.
“States have understandably been scared to tackle this out of fear that it will fuel right-wing populists and Islamophobia,” one EU security official told BuzzFeed News amid reports that one of the Paris attackers had entered Europe disguised as a refugee.
Some refugees say they expect a backlash against them following the attacks.
Seemingly every block in the Iraqi town has been reduced to rubble and metal scraps.
Peshmerga forces entered the strategic Iraqi town after an offensive aided by U.S. airstrikes. BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio is reporting from the ground.