andrea milluzzi Andrea Milluzzi

Andrea Milluzzi è un giornalista italiano free lance. Nato a Cortona (AR) nel 1981 è giornalista professionista dal 2006. Caposervizio della politica per il quotidiano "Liberazione" lascia il giornale nel 2010. Da allora vive a Beirut, in Libano da dove collabora con le maggiori testate nazionali. Autore dei libri "Cgil, 100 anni al lavoro" (2008) e Stato d'Italia (2011) attualmente sta lavorando ad un libro fotogiornalistico sulle minoranze cristiane in Medio Oriente. E' ideatore e co-autore di Radio Beirut, una web radio sul Medio Oriente.

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Isis prisoners
Til Kocer, Syria.
By Andrea Milluzzi
27 Nov 2014

On December 2014 we met two Isis prisoners in the Tel Kocer prison, in Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan, caught by Ypg forces. Hussein al Abdul was arrested three months before during a battle. He is still convinced on Isis ideology, but he thinks Isis will not win the war. Abbas Hussein al Assi was preparing a suicide attach when he was taken by Ypg. Both of them say they are repented. Since three years the area is under total control of Ypg, the kurdish army. The people of Rojava (Kurds, Arabs, Christians and Yazidis) declared the autonomy of the region on January 2014. Ypg and other armies are fighting against Isis in Kobane and in Serie Kanie, the border village of Rojava. Tel Kocer, close to the border with Krg (Iraqi Kurdistan Region) is the only syrian customhouse ruled by Kurdish government. One year ago Ypg has achieved Til Kocer from Isis control and set up its own prison. Those interviews are ones of the few chances to hear Isis ideals and project from an internal voice.

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Captive ISIS Member: "I was Forced to...
By Andrea Milluzzi
11 Dec 2014

Fighting between ISIS militants and Kurdish groups in northeastern Syria has left a large number of killed or injured fighters as well as many prisoners of war on both sides.

When ISIS took control over rebel-held cities in Syria, many men joined ISIS, either by choice or by force.

This is a video of interviews with two ISIS militants captured by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the province of Hasakah. They both claim that they were coerced into joining the militia group and were given “hallucinogenic pills” before fighting. One of the prisoners was preparing for a suicide bomb.

The captive fighters talk about their experience before joining ISIS, while they fought with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the reasons why they joined ISIS and their future plans if they were freed by the YPG.


(00:03) Tell me your name, your age, where do you come from and why did you join ISIS

(00:12) My name is Abbas Hussein Al Assi, I am 25 years old, and I come from Tal Hamis in Al Hasaka Governorate. I started fighting with the FSA and I joined the Islamic State by force.

(00:34) What year did you join ISIS and for how long? And how long did you stay with the FSA?

(00:47) I stayed for almost a year with ISIS. I also fought with the FSA for a year, too.

(00:58) Where and when did they capture you?

(01:02) They captured me while I was preparing myself for a suicide attack, nearly a month ago.

(01:15) Why did you join the FSA?

(01:21) The main reason I joined the FSA is the salary they gave me. I was paid 25,000 Syrian pounds (around $142) [a month].

(01:31)What was that monthly salary that ISIS paid you?

(01:33) ISIS did not give me any salary.

(01:37) Do you have any news from your relatives?

(01:40) No.

(01:42) What was the purpose of your suicide attack?

(01:48) My purpose was to go to heaven.

(01:56) Are you 100% sure that after a suicide attack you will go to heaven?

(02:02) Yes.

(02:08) When you took the decision of doing a suicide attack, did you not think that you will leave your family and friends and die?

(02:25) They [ISIS] were brainwashing us.

(02:29) What do you think now of the Islamic State?

(02:33) I regret [joining] it.

(02:36) If they [YPG] set you free, will you still think of carrying out a suicide attack?

(02:44) No. I want to join them [YPG] against ISIS.

(02:48) So, do you hate the Islamic State now?

(02:50) Yes.

(02:52) Do you think ISIS does it work by brainwashing people?

(02:58) Yes. They use drugs to brainwash us.

(03:03) Are you religious?

(03:11) Yes, I am very religious.

(03:13) But using drugs is against Islam, right?

(03:20) It is, but they issue a fatwa to make it religiously lawful.


(03:22) Tell me about yourself

(03:26) My name is Hussein Al Abdul, and I am 23 years old. I come from Tal Hamis in Al Hasakah Governorate. I started as a Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter before I joined the Islamic State.

(03:44) Why did you join?

(03:46) I joined by force.

(03:53) I was fighting with the FSA for almost eight months before ISIS took control over the city and I was obliged to join them. I fought with them for almost a year and four months.

(04:03) When and why were you captured?

(04:06) It has been almost 13 days that the [Kurdish] People’s Protection Units [YPG] captured me; I was ambushed during the fighting.

(04:14) Do you believe in the idea of an Islamic State and the Caliphate and why?

(04:23) At first I never accepted the idea of an Islamic State, but once I joined, I started to support it. We were taught lessons about [fighting] in the field and Sharia.

(04:45) Do you think the Islamic State is right? What are the goals you wish to achieve with the Islamic State?

(05:01) The path of the Islamic State is the right path. I wish that an Islamic State will be established.

(05:05) In which areas have you fought since you joined the Islamic State?

(05:13) I fought in Iraq, mostly in Mosul.

(05:36) When ISIS first invaded Mosul, were you one of the fighters?

(05:38) Yes.

(05:40) In your opinion, is life in Mosul now better than it was before ISIS?

(05:55) No. We thought that when we occupied Mosul life would be better, but when we took over from the Iraqi government, things did not go as expected.

(06:05) This means life in the areas under ISIS control is not better now

(06:12) We always thought we could make things better in the cities we occupy. But then insecurity and instability spread in these areas.

(06:20) Do you think the Islamic State will win this war?

(06:27) At first, I thought ISIS will win, but considering the number of killed and injured ISIS fighters I don’t think the group will win.

(06:42) Do you have Christian friends?

(06:44) No, I do not.

(06:47) Have you never had any encounter with a Christian person?

(06:55) When I was fighting with the FSA I had relationships with people from all sects. But when I joined ISIS, we had to kill them.

(07:08) You say you never had any problem with being in contact with a person from another sect. Why, after you joined the Islamic State, did you start to think that these people should be killed?

(07:28) After we took lessons in Sharia, we realized that Christians should either be killed or convert to Islam.

(07:34) Don’t you think that what you learned from the Islamic State is wrong and inhumane?

(07:44) At first, we thought it was right. But when they [YPG members] captured us and treated us in a good way, we realized that what we learned from ISIS is wrong.

(07:54) Are you married? Do you have children?

(07:56) Yes I am married but I do not have children.

(08:00) What does your wife think about you?

(08:02)) She does not know about all this.

(08:03) Does your family have the same ideology as ISIS?

(08:05) No.

(08:08) How could you be with your wife if she does not like the Islamic State?

(08:12) I left her.

(08:15) When did you leave her and why?

(08:18) I left her almost a month before I joined ISIS. We faced some problems in our relationship.

(08:24) If they [YPG] set you free, what will you do?

(08:33) At first I thought I will join the Islamic State again. But now, after they treated me in a good way and after I realized I was wrong; I will not join ISIS again.

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Abbas Hussein al Assi - ISIS Prisoner
Til Kocer
By Andrea Milluzzi
11 Dec 2014

Abbas Hussein is an Isis fighter. He is 25 years old and he comes from Syria. He is a former member of the Free Syrian army and she fought with Isis for almost one year. Ypg captured it while he was preparing a suicide attack.

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Hussein al Abdul - ISIS Prisoner
Til Kocer
By Andrea Milluzzi
25 Nov 2014

Hussein is an Isis fighter. He had been enlisted in the Free Syrian Army, then he joined Isis. He said he fought with Isis because he was forced. He had been caught by Ypg almost three months ago.