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Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

By: Lyana SALEH | Alexandra RENARD

FRANCE 24 has obtained rare footage secretly shot by a female student in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the stronghold of the Islamic State group in Syria.


With a small camera hidden in her handbag, a 25-year-old Syrian student walks through the streets of her hometown.

This 12-minute exclusive FRANCE 24 report offers a rare glimpse of daily life in Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s stronghold in Syria. The scenes she films, at great risk to her own safety, are astonishing.

In this city in northern Syria, the jihadists - and sometimes their wives - go out with a Kalashnikov slung over their shoulder.

But one of the most striking scenes in this rare documentary takes place in an internet café in Raqqa. Several fully covered women speak in perfect French via Skype to their family back in France. "I'm not going to come back", one of them says to her loved ones, who are begging her to leave this new life behind. "There's no need to cry or be frightened", she tries to reassure them.

French authorities believe that an estimated 150 French women have travelled to Syria to either join their militant husbands, serve as mother figures to orphans or merely support the jihadist cause.

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