Members of Islamic State are defecting in growing numbers according to a newly published report because of poor conditions, an unsatisfying lifestyle and the brutal violence shown to other Muslims. Some of those who have left have also cited corruption amongst high-ranking soldiers but the main culprit for those leaving ISIS was simply that the quality of life was so low, with few luxury goods or comforts.
“They were typically among the ones who had joined the group for material and ‘selfish’ reasons, and quickly realised that none of the luxury goods and cars that they had been promised would materialise,” says the report.
Experts say that hundreds fighters have already left this year, with many travelling out of Syria and into Turkey. They also estimate that a large number of those attempting to flee have been caught and executed by Islamic State members. The report urges government to do more to stop those who have defected from going into hiding, as their stories would likely do a lot to stop others from potentially joining ISIS.
“The defectors provide unique insight into life in the Islamic State,” continued the report. “But their stories can also be used as a potentially powerful tool in the fight against it. The defectors’ very existence shatters the image of unity and determination that IS seeks to convey.”