Sourced : Balkan Insight

By Jovo Martinovic

Hilmi, an ethnic Bosniak, travelled to Syria hoping that life in Islamic State’s‘caliphate would be an ideal religious environment – but he managed to escape 16 months later, disillusioned with what he had found there.

“There was nothing there, no electricity, no books, no internet, nothing,” Hilmi told BIRN.

“I had some 400 euros of savings, which were quickly spent on food. Then I started getting around $50 per month as I reported myself sick. My wife was helping the older women so sometimes she would get some allowance. I was going crazy and all the time I was thinking how to save my family and run away from there,” he recalled.

“Look,” he continued, opening his laptop and showing a video.

“There is no nature, there is no grass, everything died, was abandoned; look at this skinny sheep…the only thing we could do is walk around a bit,”he commented, before going through photos of his family and friends, some of whom never managed to return from Syria.

Hilmi, who holds dual Bosnian and Montenegrin citizenship, is just one of 250 people who returned to the Balkans after spending time in the war zones in Syria and Iraq- some of them, like him, because they became disillusioned with ISIS.

Although many of them deny that they went to fight, Balkan states treat them all as terrorists after a series of laws were passed in 2015 that criminalised any kind of involvement in foreign conflicts.

Read more at :–08-10-2017

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