Dozens of Islamic State militant group (ISIS) fighters have defected from the group in Aleppo to join a rival Islamist group, according to amateur footage released on Sunday.
The video shows a purported deserter holding up his ISIS identity card, while dozens of men walk along a dusty road in the background. He tells the person behind the camera why he and the men behind him decided to leave the group.
“They killed us, they called us infidels, they bothered us a lot, even in our homes, they doubted us, we supported them and they doubted us,” the alleged militant says in a video obtained by Reuters.
The men, whose nationalities are unknown, purportedly left to join an unidentified rival Islamist group. The precise location of the defection in Syria is also unclear but the group controls large areas of eastern Syria and is battling Kurdish fighters and rival rebel groups in the country’s northern regions.
Between January 2014 and August 2015, British think tank the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) monitored 58 public defections from ISIS, with a third of those Syrian nationals (21) and nine coming from western Europe and Australia.
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SOURCE: Newsweek, Jack Moore