Another Canadian woman who says she followed her husband to Syria when he left to fight for ISIS tells CTV News that she wants to come home.
“I had no idea how much I could miss my own country,” said Kimberley, one of four Canadian women who spoke to CTV’s London Bureau Chief Paul Workman from inside the Al-Hawl camp in eastern Syria.
“What I know of Canadians is that they are very loving, very accepting people for the most part,” she said. “They don’t want to punish without reason,” she added. “I think that a lot of people believe in giving second chances.”
There are about 1,500 foreign women and children being held at Al-Hawl. The local Kurdish forces want them gone but countries including Canada are in no rush to help.
Kurdish officials said that Canada began offering assistance to the ISIS families several months ago, sending passport applications to help them get home. But that process suddenly stopped and it’s unclear why.
Kimberley, 46, tells CTV News that she was lured to the so-called caliphate by her first husband three years ago, and became quickly disillusioned by the genocidal terrorist group.
“I was starting to get really edgy with things I was seeing but I wasn’t talking because I didn’t trust who to talk to or what to do. I really didn’t know who to talk to about what I was seeing,” she said.
“People disappear during the night. It’s very real. It functions very much like a gestapo,” she added.
Asked why she didn’t leave, Kimberley said that running off wasn’t an option.
“There’s guns everywhere. You can’t just walk out. It’s not like you can walk down the street ... They’ll turn you right back.”
Many of the Canadians who left for Syria to live under ISIS’ rule have families in Canada who are lobbying for the government to repatriate them.
There are currently more than two-dozen Canadians -- half of them young children -- trapped in Syria, according to Families Against Violent Extremism.
Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford is among those pressuring the government to help them get back.
“I’ve always thought Canadians were the good guys, the nice guys,” he said. “I’m very, very disappointed in Mr. Trudeau and his government that they are not doing what is obviously the right thing.”