Living Conditions “Extremely Bad” in ISIS-Controlled Jarabulus

Format mpeg4, Bitrate 11.846 mbps

Jarabulus, Syria
February 13, 2015

This video offers a rare glimpse of daily life in Jarabulus, an ISIS-controlled Syrian town on the border with Turkey, located around 120 km northwest of Aleppo.
Video contains interviews with two anonymous residents who complained about their economic conditions, saying that basic commodities are unaffordable while there are few employment opportunities.

The footage, which was shot secretly, shows what is believed to be ISIS headquarters destroyed by international coalition-led airstrikes. It also shows local residents in markets and agriculture fields inside and near Jarabulus.

Fighters from the Nusra Front, considered the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, took over the town in 2013 and later pledged allegiance to ISIS. More than 200,000 Kurds and Arabs in Jarabulus and the surrounding villages have lived under ISIS since early 2014.

The name of the contributor has been withheld for security reasons.


Traveling of fields/ road sign “Jarablus”
Wide of destroyed bridge on river
Wide of lettering on a wall (ISIS religious teachings)
Various of destroyed buildings
Wide of ISIS religious teachings
Traveling of street
Wide of lettering on a wall (ISIS religious teachings)
Various of official printed announcements by ISIS posted outside a building/ close up of seal “The Islamic State, Department of Agriculture, Jarabulus District”
L-R pan of field
Wide of children sliding down a hill
Various of boat rowing in the Euphrates River
Wide of planted vegetables
Wide/ L-R pan of orchard
Various of sheep grazing
Close-up of a person cutting firewood
Various of woman cooking using a stove
Various of a woman milking a cow
Various of oil containers for sale on the roadside
Medium of man at fish market
Various of vegetables for sale at market
Wide of field and sheep herd
Traveling of people in an outdoor market
Various of clothes and shoes for sale
Various of spices for sale
Various of market
Various of crowd at market
Various of food items for sale
Wide/ traveling inside health center

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Jarabulus Resident
09:54 – 12:16

“The situation is not good. I cannot say that we are comfortable. Our situation is very bad. A diesel barrel costs 20,000 [Syrian pounds]. How can we afford it? A gas canister costs 4,000 [Syrian pounds] and a liter of kerosene costs 225 pounds. A pack of bread costs 130 pounds. How can we afford this? I have two young men who are unemployed. Where can they go? “The [Islamic] State is good. They have caught the debauched and the thieves who have hurt people, but they provide electricity and water for only two hours [a day]. For more than a year, people have barely seen electricity. It is provided during two hours but the grid is overloaded and the current is interrupted after half an hour. The bakery was not functioning; they repaired it but bread is expensive. We cannot afford it. I bake bread myself.

“As for warplanes… Our houses have been fractured. These countries have formed a coalition against us. We live in a border town. Bombing goes on night and day.

“They should have bombed the tyrant who has deprived us of everything. He has ruined everything. Whenever our children went out to look for work they were accused of being criminals and caught. All our young men have been put in jail. What can we do? The situation is bad.

“We use firewood. We had olive trees but we cut them down and burned them in the stove to have heat in this cold weather.

“I have a cow. Animal feed is expensive. A kilogram of hay costs 50 pounds. A bale of barely that contains 40 kg costs 2,700 pounds. We need this cow to feed us. All the people who have cattle suffer the same crisis that we do. It is not only me; all of us suffer a bad situation. We wish that we die. There is not a single house that has not been fractured due to warplanes.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Jarabulus Resident
12:17 – 13: 19

“Conditions under the Islamic State are extremely bad. Under the Islamic State, a barrel of diesel costs more than $100. A ton of firewood costs 22,000 [pounds]. This crisis has never been witnessed before.

“Nothing has improved under the Islamic State. Everything has deteriorated. They should create employment for the people. The people work in agricultural lands, which do not provide any revenue. We have abandoned our land. Not all the plots are being cultivated. People have cut down olive groves and used them as firewood. The situation is extremely miserable. There are no services and foreign countries are not providing aid. The Islamic State is in control of the situation. Turkey has closed the border and aid cannot reach people. The situation is very bad under the Islamic State.”