SOHR: ISIS Widow in NE Syria: I Couldn’t Believe I Got Rid of Him
“I couldn’t believe I got rid of him and his oppression,” with these words Aisha Al-Ahmad, a minor and wife of an ISIS fighter, started telling her story to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Al-Ahmad lives with her family in the Rumailah neighborhood, the largest neighborhood in the city center of Syria’s northeastern city of Raqqa, the former capital of ISIS’ so-called caliphate.
She is the eldest of six sisters who live in a tribal society that embraces “obsolete” traditions, including early marriage.
Her first husband was an ISIS member known by his initials as M. A.
“In 2013, when I was 15, I got married to one of my relatives according to our tribe’s traditions stipulating that girls have to get married as soon as they reach puberty. My father worked in the cattle market and was on a low income,” Al-Ahmad told the Observatory.
“My first husband had stayed away from our house for so long, as he was a fighter of the ‘army of the caliphate state’ on the Tel Abyad frontline,” she added.
“Our marriage lasted for three years, during which I gave birth to three children. My ex-husband was blunt and irascible. On his holidays, he humiliated me by beating and abusing me during marital cohabitation as if I were an inanimate object or a body without a soul.”
“In 2016, during the Tal Abyad battles, the Office of Mujahideen Affairs informed me of the murder of my husband, aka ‘Abu Hassan.’ The news of his death was music to my ears. I felt as if I got out of prison and became free,” she recalled.
Al-Ahmad nodded a little with her gaze and told the Observatory: “I was born to suffer.”
“I lost my joy as once I finished ‘Iddah’ – in Islam, Iddah is the period of time a woman must observe after the death of her husband or after a divorce, ‘Abu Yusuf Al-Ansari,’ my ex-husband’s brother and also an ISIS fighter, proposed to me.”
“I refused and told my father that I thought of Al-Ansari as my brother, and I can’t marry another man after the death of my husband. However, all my attempts to reject this marriage were in vain. I was forced to get married for the second time.”
“My new husband was a fighter of ‘Jaish Al-Wilayah’ battalion and I gave birth to three children in 2016 and 2017.”
“During the battles of the liberation of Raqqa, specifically in the Rumailah area, my husband sustained a foot injury, and after his arrest, he was taken to Tal Abyad Hospital for treatment. He was imprisoned in Ayed prison in Al-Tabqa until he was released in 2019.”
Al-Ahmad is now a mother of six: three from each of her two husbands.
She has undergone several psychosocial rehabilitation programs and courses, like many minor females from Raqqa who have been victims of “obsolete tribal traditions” and early marriage, said the Observatory.
Source: Asharq Al-Awsat