(Vox) ISIS territory, from everything we hear, is an absolutely miserable place to live. This should be a liability for ISIS: if it's really so terrible to be live under its rule, you'd think that a number of their fighters would want to leave.
There haven't been waves of mass defections from ISIS — partly because, according to some reports, ISIS commanders shoot people who try to leave. But a few people have left the group. Scholars Anne Speckhard and Ahmet S. Yayla found some of them and got them to agree to interviews, excerpts of which they have published in the newest issue of the journal Perspectives on Terrorism.
The defectors' stories are harrowing. They're also a valuable window into how life in ISIS works — and some of the group's real weaknesses.
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