Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS (2017) Movie Script

Sebastian junger: When a
society collapses into anarchy
And violence, civilians
inevitably take matters
Into their own hands.
They form armed militias.
They put up
checkpoints and roadblocks.
They kill or expel anyone
in the area who might threaten
Their grip on power.
Sebastian junger: In
that kind of environment,
Radical ideologies are
almost guaranteed to take hold.
depends on desperation.
It depends on grievance.
And it then provides its
own harsh answers to the
Corruption and the
violence that afflict much
Of the world.
Sebastian junger: People will
always turn to radicalism once
They have exhausted
every other option.
Militant: Allahu akbar,
allahu akbar.
Sebastian junger: They have to.
Their very
survival is at stake.
Robin yassin kassab: At first it
wasn't a revolutionary movement.
They weren't calling for
the fall of the regime or
The execution
of the president.
Robin ysssin kassab:
It was very simple.
"we want our
children to be released."
They were
calling for dignity,
Which is important
in a country where people
Were used to being
humiliated and pushed around.
Sarah chayes: It's really
remarkable the degree to which
Corruption has played an
important role in driving a
Variety of security crises
that had been breaking out in
The last five to ten years.
Every single one of the
arab spring revolutions was
Explicitly an
anti-corruption revolution.
These were countries run
by extremely sophisticated
And successful
criminal organizations.
The people who are paid to
uphold the law are the very
Ones violating it.
It's humiliating.
Tunisia catches fire.
Libya catches fire.
Egypt catches fire.
Bashar al-assad looks
at that and says,
"I'll be damned."
So he was willing
to respond to peaceful
Demonstrations with
maximal use of force.
Sarah chayes: The
bet that he made was
"there's, at this
point, no compromising
With this movement so
if I wanna stay in power,
I have to absolutely
take it to the limit."
Robin yassin kassab:
Very quickly we got into this
Cycle of protests that
were met by gunfire which led
To funerals the next day.
The funerals
became bigger protests.
The demands, then,
began to get bigger.
Social justice and freedom,
an end to corruption.
The regime responded again
with more and more violence.
Zaidoun al-zoabi: I
participated in demonstrations
And I was
detained twice afterwards.
In that jail, I
witnessed at least the death
Of 80 people who died
just because of the conditions.
There was no oxygen,
there was no medicine.
There was no space for you.
You can't sleep,
there's no sleep.
Wardens did not
have to beat us.
We used to do it
to each other.
You know, just like a couple
of rats put in a small, small,
Small space, and we were,
we were just biting each other.
It is a factory of terrorism.
You would go inside as
an ordinary person and
Leave as a terrorist.
Linda ibrahim:
I was almost 16, 17
When the
revolution started.
I wanted to do something.
I mean, I wanted to
participate in demonstrations.
I wanted these
things to stop.
Emely issa: That night,
I tried to prevent them.
I told them you are young
and we don't know yet how will
The regime
behave against you.
I was afraid
they will shoot.
They will shoot.
I tried, but they
insisted so I told them
"okay, I will
be in front of you.
I will be the first, but you
have to follow my instructions."
Emely issa: If god gave
me 1,000 years to live,
I will never
forget that sound.
Linda ibrahim: When
you see such sufferings,
There is no childhood.
So many of my
friends were killed.
And this is the
hardest thing, you know.
Before, we wanted many
things, we wanted to change,
But now we just want
peace, you know, for,
Stop killing
children, I mean.
Stop killing
innocent people.
Bbc news: Mr. President,
human rights watch, for example,
30th of January this year,
has said that forces loyal to
Bashar al-assad "have
deliberately and viciously
Attacked civilians in
opposition-held areas using
Bashar al-assad: No, there's
no indiscriminate weapons.
When you, when you shoot,
you aim, and when you shoot,
When you aim you aim
at terrorists in order
To protect civilians.
Again, if you're talking
about casualty, that's war.
You cannot have
war without casualty.
Man: Alahu akbar...
Alahu abkar.
Robin yassin kassab:
The regime wanted a war.
This sounds strange.
Why on earth would any
regime, or government,
Or state provoke a
war against itself?
Robin yassin kassab: The
regime knew very well that it
Couldn't survive a
genuine reform process.
If there was a
real reform process,
One thing would
lead to another.
There would, there would
be more and more transparency,
More and more crimes would
be exposed, and in the end,
At best, the president and
his top officers would have
Ended up in prison
stripped of their stolen wealth.
They thought that in a
military conflict, in a war,
They could win because
they had done it before.
Under hafez al-assad,
the father of bashar in 1982,
They used artillery,
they used aerial bombardment,
They probably used
chemical weapons,
And they killed
somewhere between 10,000 and
40,000 people, and the memory
of that terror kept the syrian
People silent until 2011.
Reporter: Pictures have
emerged today apparently
Showing members of the
syrian army defecting to join
Protesters in
the city of homs.
Robin yassin kassab: You
have a growing number of local
Volunteers and a growing
number of military defectors
Who were joining together
to form into hundreds of
Self-defense militias which
eventually all came together
Under the umbrella titled,
"the free syrian army."
Ahmed: These groups the
fsa had in aleppo at that
Time were really helpful.
Once in salaheddin, I
was demonstrating in there.
People start just
falling on the ground that,
From shooting
from the regime.
They closed the road on us.
Ahmed: And then, like out
of nothing, like angels,
Somebody shoot the
thugs and they fell
And they were
able to escape.
Soldier: Takbir!
Fsa soldiers: Allahu akbar!
Soldier: Takbir!
Fsa soldiers: Allahu akbar!
Soldier: Takbir!
Christoph reuter: The
propaganda of the regime was
"we are not confronted
with a local revolution
Of people who
demand rights.
No, we are confronted with a
foreign-funded jihadi movement."
Peter bouckaert:
Actually, a lot of the
Jihadists were
released by the syrian regime
In the very early
stage of the conflict.
There was an amnesty which
allowed a lot of people with
Very nasty records to be
freed from custody in syria.
It was a strategy of survival.
Robin yassin kassab: The
regime thought enough people
In the outside world would
be scared away from the
Revolution by the size of
these bearded working classmen
With kalashnikovs
and they were right.
And america, in 2011,
2012, they were saying,
"we can't allow
weapons to go into syria.
We can't send the democrats,
the nationalists of the free
Army weapons, because some
of those weapons might get into
The hands of
islamist extremists."
Will mccants: In the absence
of a major international effort
To build a army to
oppose the assad regime,
A lot of private
individuals in the gulf began
To fund armed groups on
the ground inside of syria.
Ghaith abdul-ahad: Fsa was a
fantastic media labeled term,
But there was no
central authority,
No one could command anyone,
no one could have a one unity
On a frontline.
I would go to a village,
it has five, six militias.
I would come few months later,
they have multiplied into 50,
60 because forming a militia
became a way of getting money.
The amount of money,
the amount of ammunition,
The amount of weapons pumped
into that conflict totally
Destroyed the revolution
and turned it into the
Dynamics of civil war.
Peter bouckaert: Early in
the war, isis wasn't present.
There was a very
diverse landscape.
So a lot of the
bosnians, and the tunisians,
And the libyans, the more
extreme kind of elements of
Those groups came
on there "el muhadrim."
El muhadrim
means the immigrants,
The foreign fighters.
These groups fought alongside
each other around aleppo.
Ahmed: Fighters came
3:00 in the morning,
Sneaked inside aleppo.
Nobody knew
they were coming.
There were just,
like, in every corner,
You could see one fighter.
And then in the morning,
Two tanks started
shooting this neighborhood.
The fsa started shooting it.
They had only this rpg and
it was not enough for that tank.
The second day,
three tanks came.
They destroyed the
first one and then they
Destroyed the last one.
So the one in the
middle, just, like,
Surrendered himself.
Man: Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Man: Allahu akbar!
Ahmed: In the same day,
when all this happened,
Most of the
people left aleppo and
They went to
the countryside.
Mahmoud al-basha: Hanano
military base was the biggest
Military base for
assad regime in aleppo city.
So when the fsa
took half of the city,
They decided to
attack this military base.
Ahmed: In this military base,
there were thousands of weapons,
full of weapons.
So many groups,
people I know, friends,
Were going to hanano
military base and they were
Just taking weapons.
Man: Then the
bombardments started.
Day and night, non-stop.
Sebastian junger: One of
the problems with letting a
Civil war go on
too long is that more
And more people
get involved.
It's a little bit like a
bar fight where all of a sudden,
Everyone's jumped in and is
throwing chairs at each other.
Syria became a civil war
in response to the violence
Of the government.
Eventually, iran got
involved through hezbollah
To support
the assad regime.
The kurds got involved.
Turkey got involved.
The arab gulf
states got involved.
Eventually, all the world
powers and all the regional
Powers had some investment
in the war in syria and in many
Cases were actively
involved in the fighting.
Once you get in a proxy fight,
so many people have such huge
Interests in the outcome that
it's almost impossible to stop.
President obama: Obviously,
this is a very tough issue.
I have indicated repeatedly
that president al-assad has
Lost legitimacy that
he needs to step down.
So far, he hasn't gotten
the message and instead has
Doubled down in
violence on his own people.
I have, at this point, not
ordered military engagement in
The situation, but we have
been very clear that a red line
For us is we start
seeing a whole bunch of chemical
Weapons moving
around or being utilized.
That would
change my calculus.
That would change.
Robin yassin kassab:
When he said that,
A lot of syrian
revolutionaries were very
Upset because it
seems to be saying that,
"look, you can
use scud missiles,
You can shoot
them down in the street,
You can use warplanes.
Anything is fine
except chemical weapons."
Robin yassin kassab:
Then, of course,
He did use
chemical weapons.
Robin yassin kassab: He killed
1450 people in five hours,
In the
suburbs of damascus.
Men, women, and
children, choking to death.
Senator mccain: President
of the United States called
Lindsey graham and me
over to the oval office.
Looked us in
the eye and said,
"they've crossed the
line, I'm gonna attack.
I'm gonna degrade
bashar al-assad,
I'm gonna upgrade the
capabilities of the free
Syrian army and I'm
gonna reverse the momentum
On the battlefield."
We emphasized two.
We walked out and there
was the usual cameras and said,
"we're with the
president all the way."
Senator mccain: I'm sitting
in my office and they're on cnn,
The president
has decided not to.
President obama: My
fellow americans.
Tonight I wanna
talk to you about syria.
Senator mccain: That
wasn't just disillusioning
To me and
lindsey graham.
The saudis had planes on
the runway when they found out
President obama: Because we
cannot resolve someone else's
Civil war through force.
Robin yassin kassab: The
red line disappeared.
There were thousands of
defections in that week.
Thousands of soldiers and,
And officers who'd
be loyal to the regime,
Hadn't dared to jump,
they thought now it's going
To change because the
americans are going to get
Involved and they
defected in that week,
But nothing happened.
Robin yassin kassab: Quite
a few fighters in syria,
Quite a few
revolutionary fighters said,
"look, we're never going
to get help from the west.
This guy can do
anything he wants.
He can kill us all with
any weapons that he can find,
In any way he chooses
and the west is never going
To come to our aid."
Zaidoun al-zoabi: Syria
is just a small triangle that
Is hardly
visible on the world map.
You will see that this
triangle is just like the
Heart of the world and
if this crisis is not solved,
Believe me, everyone
in the world will suffer.
Will mccants: In 2011,
the syrian civil war
Begins to take root.
At the same time, the
american military finishes its
Withdrawal from iraq.
So, the islamic state has
more freedom of action in iraq
And they begin to look
to syria as a place to give
Themselves some
strategic depth.
Robin yassin kassab: In syria,
it looks like isis is a creation
Of bashar al-assad.
It's a creation of his
scorched earth policy.
Assad had in effect an
undeclared non-aggression
Pact with isis.
And even today, when isis
and the free army are fighting
Each other, assad will
come and bomb the free army.
General flynn: It's
a cancer that exists.
The islamic
world knows it exists.
The rest of the world
now sees it, feels it,
Is bleeding because of it.
Is terrorized
because of it.
It's not
30,000 guys in syria.
The islamic state
is a global problem.
Christoph reuter: In its
beginning it's an iraqi
Organization, but what they
had for syria was a blueprint,
A very detailed
plan, step a, b, c, d,
How to colonize
a foreign country.
The first phase was training
camps where they form a hybrid
Army from the incoming
people from tunisia, egypt,
Daghestan, germany who didn't
even have one common language.
Christoph reuter: It's an
absolutely loyal army with no
Local affiliations.
And then, locally to
know who is who in the
Respective villages, they
started to open da'wah offices,
Missionary offices.
And they did so in
many, many places.
In tal rifaat, in mar'a,
in al-dana, in mayadin,
In deir ez-zor, in manbij.
And so, slowly,
slowly, slowly,
They knew exactly what is the
composition of this community.
Whom we could buy,
whom we have to kill?
First, they
did this secretly.
Then, only, once they felt
powerful enough, they would,
With lightning stroke,
take over a particular village.
Sarah chayes: What they're
doing is saying this system is
So rotten, it's so
thoroughly rotten that the
Only way to improve
it is by fire and blood.
Robin yassin kassab: The public
display of horrific violence
Against individuals is something
which goes way back in history
And every culture has done it
at some time or, or the other.
In britain, they used to
hang, draw, and quarter.
In china, they were
dragged into the street
And beaten to death.
In France, women who had
slept with german soldiers,
Had their hair cut off and
were beaten in the streets,
Stripped naked and paraded.
In the United States, people
would take their wives and
Their children along to the
lynching of the black man and
Then they'd stand there
and smile and have their
Photograph taken
next to his corpse.
This display of public
violence was seen as a
Necessary part of government
in order to send the message
Out into society.
"we can do anything
we like with you.
Don't resist us because we
have total power to do the most
Horrific things and there's
nothing you can do about it."
Sebastian junger: All
societies are blind to
Their own violence.
From the use of
napalm in vietnam,
To the bombing
of german cities,
To the use of
nuclear weapons in japan,
The United States has
killed far more civilians
Than isis ever could.
In world war ii alone,
allied forces are thought
To have killed around
one million civilians.
We're focused on the
wrongdoing of other groups.
It's an adaptive trait
that's probably hardwired
Into the brain because
it has survival value.
President bush: Either
you're with us or you're
With the terrorists.
Sebastian junger: It allows us
to demonize the enemy who we
May have to fight and
to avoid the moral conflict
That comes with killing.
When the united
states invaded iraq,
They killed tens of
thousands of innocent people.
You can't do that and imagine
there won't be consequences.
Ghaith abdul-ahad:
By early 2003,
The majority of iraqis
were happy to see the back
Of saddam hussein.
There is excitement,
there is hope,
There is a
degree of anxiety.
I remember two days
after the fall of baghdad,
People were talking about,
"why are the
americans aggressive?"
"why are they pointing
their guns at the people
In the street?"
Saddam had committed
massacres within the society,
Enormous levels of violence,
but you couldn't see it.
Within the
american occupation,
Violence is televised.
Pictures of the americans
putting bags on the head of
People and sitting
them behind barbed wire,
Forcing people to be
naked, humiliating people.
The loss of their
credibility was enormous,
They could have paved the
iraqi roads in gold and still
They can do the
humiliation of abu ghraib.
There was a burning
american armored vehicle
In haifa street in baghdad.
As I'm walking I hear,
see two small helicopters.
They fire a rocket into
the crowd that was celebrating
Around the burning vehicle.
I run towards the scene and
I see this circle with a young
Boy stunned, missing leg, a
pool of blood and some liquids.
Other people
scattered in the middle.
They're not screaming,
they're not wailing,
The injured people are
silent, the silence of shock.
The helicopters come again,
They fire another
rocket into the crowd.
I'm trying to be as
thin as the curb, you know,
And then you realize
there is people left in
The middle of the road.
There's this guy who was
injured in the first attack
And then was hit again.
He raises himself, he
looks around, he falls,
Stretches his arm,
and still waits.
No one can help him,
no one can do anything.
The helicopters were gone,
But everyone was
mortified with fear.
Violence by the end
of 2003, early 2004,
Is a normal fact of society.
When you see body
parts in the street,
When you see pieces of
flesh hanging from a tree,
When you see children killed
because they were playing in
The middle of the road,
I don't think there is
Difference in horror between
seeing children just being hit
By an american rocket
with their limbs scattered,
With their, with their legs
oozing these fluids in the
Middle of the street of
baghdad and seeing someone,
You know, executed by isis.
You don't equate
the two parties,
But from the perspective
of someone who lost his leg
There is no good violence
and bad violence.
Peter bouckaert: It is
very important for people to
Understand just how much what
is happening in syria today is
Related to what happened
in iraq over a decade ago.
Iraq under saddam hussein
was a sunni ruled country with
Both the kurdish and the
shia majority that suffered very
Significantly at the
hands of that sunni dominance.
Whether you agree or not
with the military intervention,
The main failures were
not the military intervention.
It's the de-ba'athification
of the country,
Which completely marginalized
the sunni population.
Paul bremer: I am
today establishing an iraqi
De-ba'athification council.
General petraeus: I was an
occupation commander with all
Of the responsibilities
that went along with that,
Which essentially meant
running part of iraq,
Firing the ba'ath party,
casting them on the ash heap
Of history, created
tens of thousands of iraqis,
Including the
most educated and,
And influential in
various sunni-arab communities
Especially, whose
incentive now was to oppose
To new iraq rather
than to support it.
Huge mistake.
Dennis ross: It didn't make
sense to do this kind of
Wide-scaled de-ba'athification
when within iraq itself,
You wanna get a job, you
had to join the ba'ath party.
So, you know, you, it's,
it's a little bit like the
Not everyone was, you know,
Part of shaping a
repressive regime that
Suppressed everybody else.
Ghaith abdul-ahad: The
sunnis were oppressed by the
Americans, by the
shi'a government of iraq.
Isis comes and
promises liberation,
Promises the end of that,
promises bringing back the
Sunni's pride that they've
lost from 2003 and bringing
Them back into control.
Christoph reuter: If you
called something ba'athi
Nobody would follow,
but once they discovered,
"hey, if you, if we say that
we fight in the name of islam,
In the name of jihad
against the foreign occupiers,
We have something
that resonates."
Robin yassin kassab:
Their propaganda owes a lot to
Hollywood action
films and to computer games
That kids grow
up on these days.
Isis knows that if they make
a high production video shot
From various angles,
if they get a white guy,
Put him in a guantanamo
style orange jumpsuit,
They get a child or
an english speaker to cut his
Head off with a knife,
they know that that night,
Maybe the film will not
be shown on mainstream tv,
But they know that the story
of the film will be headline
News everywhere in the world.
Lester holt: There
is breaking news tonight of a
Chilling new
isis propaganda video.
Reporter: The men believed
to be syrian were shackled and
The video shows the egyptian
prisoners being marched onto a
Beach by militants
dressed in black then the
Prisoners are
beheaded brutally.
Robin yassin kassab: Nobody
will be talking about assad on
The same day he may have
incinerated a hundred people
In barrel bombs, but we
don't see those people dying.
We've, nobody has made
a high-production video of it
And followed it up
with a threat to the west.
It's very effective at
striking fear into the hearts
Of their enemies because the
prospect of being captured by
These people is too
horrific to contemplate.
Daniel koehler: The way they
use social media sites like
Facebook, twitter, youtube,
and messenger services is so
Incredibly sophisticated.
They have a type of
member that only engage in
Online jihad.
This is the place where
they spread the ideology,
Peter bergen: You know, 6900
westerns have gone to join.
So, you know, it's not
an insignificant number.
Some of these kids
who are joining, you know,
Fairly living pretty humdrum
lives in belgium, France,
London, United States,
and they're joining isis and
They're part of something
bigger than themselves and
It's exciting.
Will mccants: The men
who run the islamic state
For all of its pretense to
be a religious organization, uh,
And all its
quotation of scripture,
When you look at how they
behave as an organization,
Um, in many ways,
uh, it resembles, uh,
The rough and tumble politics
of a criminal organization.
I mean, they put
hits out on people,
They extort people,
Raising millions of dollars
a year by these activities.
Christoph reuter: They went
into an area and the first
Thing they would do is
the flour mill, the bakery,
The concrete
factory has to be taken
Without damage immediately.
They thought about "what
do we need to maintain the
Infrastructure of this area?"
Christoph reuter:
For example, for the,
From a policeman and
soldiers on the iraqi side,
They told him,
"you're an infidel."
Theoretically, you have
to die, but you can buy
A "forgiveness card."
The forgiveness card and the
money you have paid for shows
That you are repenting and
every checkpoint will know if
You show them the
forgiveness card that
You have been forgiven.
So everybody bought for
$400 a forgiveness card.
A few months later,
the decree came out and,
"oh, the forgiveness
cards have expired."
You can buy a new one,
but it costs a bit more.
So everything,
everything is costly.
Robin yassin kassab: The
vast majority of the syrian
People see, um, isis as
a foreign occupation force.
In January
2014, the free army,
The islamic front
militias, and al-qaeda,
All of them
declared war on isis.
Robin yassin kassab: They
kicked isis out of the whole
Of western syria out of
latakia, idlib, out of aleppo,
But then in iraq, because
the iraqi state had become so
Dysfunctional because the
sunni arabs in iraq had become
So alienated, they
welcomed these people back in,
Or some of them did.
Christoph reuter: They started
their blitzkrieg in iraq,
Taking over mosul,
tikrit, shirgat, hawija.
And they managed to overrun
the weapon depots of about
Four iraqi army divisions.
They were drowning in weapons,
they couldn't even take all
The weapons with them
and burned some of them.
But now, they were a
full-fledged army with
Humvees, with
strikers, with tanks.
Robin yassin kassab: They
captured all the money in the
Banks in the north of
iraq and they used this money
And the weapons to
surge back into syria.
And they took large
parts of the country.
Christoph reuter: It was
the peak of their power.
And they used this moment
to declare the caliphate.
Sebastian junger: Only a few
centuries after the birth of
Christ, the muslim
world started expanding.
They were at the
forefront of the arts,
Of the sciences,
of astronomy.
They really were the center
of knowledge in the world.
There's a real yearning to
return to those days of glory,
They have been enduring
enormous oppression by
Dictators that are often
propped up by the west and
Completely dominated
by western technology
And western culture.
Part of what isis is doing
is trying to regain the former
Glory of the caliphate and
of the worldwide dominance that
Muslim society enjoyed
many, many centuries ago.
Charlie rose: Reports from
iraq today say the isis army
And other sunni muslim forces
captured another major target.
It is the oil refinery
in baiji that produces
One-third of iraq fuel.
Christine romans: Isis
militants have seized a major
Uh, the field produces
75,000 barrels of oil a day.
It's the latest.
Amos hochstein: From the
early days of the conflict,
Gaining territory control
over areas that have energy
Infrastructure were of
primary focus because they
Give revenue, but they
also give semblance of a state
To be able to provide
natural resources, electricity,
Fuel, cooking oil.
All those things is
what a government does.
They had people that were able
to handle the expertise part.
There are enough syrians in
the local areas that have been
Working on these
oil fields for decades.
Amos hochstein: And while
they controlled a relatively
Smaller portion of the
overall syrian territory,
They controlled an
overwhelming percentage
Of the oil and gas
infrastructure and fields.
George kiourktsoglou:
Based on our research,
We came up with a number
of 45,000 barrels a day.
You are looking at a ceiling
of roughly two million dollars
A day income for daesh.
George kiourktsoglou:
Daesh is a different beast.
Daesh has a whole
portfolio of financial resources
And of course, the
smuggling of crude oil is
Just a part
of this portfolio.
This portfolio also
include weapons trafficking, uh,
Human trafficking, smuggling,
and of course, antiquities.
Doctor al-azm: Looting of
antiquities in the region,
Not just in syria,
in the region as a whole,
Is a time-honored tradition.
In times of hardship,
what do people do?
They find alternative
sources of income.
And so now, they just
start to loot at will.
Doctor al-azm: The islamic
state institutionalized the
Process of looting.
They made it
part of the state.
Doctor al-azm: As the looting
process became more and more
Sophisticated, they would
issue permits to allow people
To bring in heavy machinery.
They established
auctions in which to sell
These looted items.
Colonel bogdanos: History be
damned, get me more material,
More canay-formed
tablets, more cylinder seals.
More anything.
More is just more.
More means more money.
From syria alone,
isis was making
Tens of millions of dollars.
While tens of millions of
dollars may not mean much to
You, how much
does an ied cost?
How much is
a 7.62 mm bullets?
How much do 50 of
those bullets go for?
How much does an ak-47 cost?
How much is an rpg?
How many rpgs can you
buy with a million dollars?
Doctor al-azm: Isis
sees cultural heritage as
An exploitable resource.
And so for them, they
will loot what they can sell,
But one of the primary
uses has been propaganda.
Colonel bogdanos: Once you
destroy the cultural heritage
Of a people, you are
in effect attacking and
Destroying their
cultural identity.
Once you destroy
their cultural identity,
It's but a short step
to destroy and eradicate
The people themselves.
Reporter: Tens of thousands
of people from the yazidi
Religious minority fled to
this mountain ridge to escape
Isis militants who
recently captured the
Nearby town of sinjar.
Christoph reuter: The kurdish
regional government made it a
Huge international outcry
that we have tens of thousands
Of yazidis thirsty and starved
to death on this mountain.
It was like you are touched,
the biblical maze of masada.
People on the
mountain, 50 degrees,
In hot summer without water,
and all the jihadists sitting
Around the mountains
waiting to kill everybody.
You had old conflicts, old
hatreds between the yazidis
From sinjar and the sunni's
ultra-loyalists to saddam.
They were keen to make clear
that this area will never be
Inhabited by yazidis again.
Sebastian junger: One of their
slogans is "we the jihadists,
We love death more than
you in the west love life."
A lot of people think that that
means that they're psychotic.
Only crazy people
would act like that.
But there is no way to
fight people who frame their
Struggle in those terms
without also taking into
Account some kind of
social and historical justice.
President obama: Our
objective is clear.
We will degrade and ultimately
destroy isil through a
Comprehensive and sustained
counterterrorism strategy.
Christoph reuter: Isis had
not anticipated this reaction
Because when two months
prior, they had overrun mosul.
Obama's reaction was basically,
"oh, we should do
something about it."
But nothing happened.
Once the americans started
to attack the islamic state,
Isis needed to react somehow.
So it was a
message for the u.S.
Isis militant: We are
willing to lay down our blood
On this soil.
So try, try to come.
I will kill every
single soldier, bismillah.
We will chop off the
heads of the americans,
Chop off the heads of the
french, chop off the heads of.
Sebastian junger: Every war
is a form of dialogue between
The warring parties
and all actions are a
Form of communication.
When president obama
decided to bomb isis forces,
He was communicating to isis
that we were not gonna stand
By and let anything happen.
And isis needed to be
communicating to the west that
They could not be messed with.
Isis member: Today,
your military air force is
Attacking us daily in iraq.
So any attempts by you, obama,
to deny the muslims their
Rights of living in safety
under the islamic caliphate
Will result in the
bloodshed of your people.
Sebastian junger: As a result,
isis cut off james foley's head.
That didn't stop the bombing,
so they kept cutting off heads
And we kept bombing.
Isis member: I'm back,
obama, because of your arrogant
Foreign policy
towards the islamic state.
You, obama, have yet
again, for your actions,
Killed yet another
american citizen.
David cameron: We will
stick to the very clear
Strategy that we have.
To help make sure the
kurds get the arms they need
To fight off, uh, these
brutal, uh, extremist militants.
Isis member: This british man
has to pay the price for your
Promise, cameron, to
arm the peshmerga against
The islamic state.
Your evil alliance with
america will only accelerate
Your destruction.
Peter bergen: The long-term
prognosis of isis is not great
Because they made
a world of enemies.
That is not a
winning strategy.
Napoleon was the greatest
general of the modern era but
So everybody, then,
coalesced to get rid of him.
Isis is making
the same mistake.
Peter bergen: They're already
suffering the consequences.
They keep losing territory.
Basically the whole world
is ganged up against them.
Dennis ross: Putin didn't
go into syria to fight isis.
If that was the case,
he would've fought isis.
80% of the bombing
was on non-isis targets.
Senator mccain: I see what
looks like the future now and
That is a very influential
russia with a bashar assad
That is able to at least
control the areas of syria
That are of most
importance to him.
Robin yassin kassab: The assad
regime and lately russia, too,
Have been bombing not just
militia formations on the
Ground, they've been bombing
bakeries, schools, hospitals.
Because the people can't
defend themselves from this
Aerial bombardment,
it's absolute hell on earth.
Assad wants those in the
middle to be eliminated so the
Choice is either him or isis.
Peter bergen: The airstrikes
are killing about a thousand
Isis members every month,
and ratcheting down the oil,
And getting rid of
some of their money.
That is really
going to impact them.
If you control several
million people and you're
Taxing them for pretty
much everything they do.
That's all the money.
So every time
they lose a big city which is
That's several hundred
thousand people they can't tax.
Alex jordanov: This new form
of terrorism was introduced by
Al-qaeda's ideologue
abu musab al-suri.
In his writings where he calls
for a form of low cost terror,
Many terror acts all over the
place conducted by the people
That actually live there.
Reporter: San
bernardino, california
Mass casualty situation.
A terror attack in
the french city of nice.
At least 80 people.
The 17-year-old
used an axe and knife
A lone gunman called 911
to pledge allegiance to isis.
Woman: Oh my god.
General flynn: This
is what terrorists do.
They instill fear
in societies.
If you instill
fear in a society,
It comes at a big cost.
With some of the, you know,
some of the comments that are
Being made about various,
Parts of our society
and what to do about them.
You know, the whole
issue of immigration is a big,
Big deal, uh, and that's,
That's playing out
terribly in europe.
Teun voeten: The
summer of 2015,
Suddenly hundreds of
thousands of people came,
Syrian refugees from turkey.
There are a lot of extremely
decent, sophisticated, uh,
People among the immigrants.
But you have also
small time criminals
And infiltrators from isis.
A lot of people feel
overwhelmed by what they
Perceive as an invasion
of muslims threatening
Our way of life.
The muslim people
in europe it's only around
5% but in certain cities,
for instance in brussels,
One generation from now,
The muslim community
will be the majority.
This has caused an
enormous political backlash
And resurgence of
right-wing movements.
General flynn: The resources
that are gonna be required to
Correct some of these
problems that we have, refugees,
Displaced people
around the world, is,
Just the numbers
are staggering.
We have to get back in there,
stabilize that area to the
Point where you can then
tell all these people who would
Rather live in
their own homes,
You can tell them and
they'll all come back.
Otherwise, the likelihood
of a far greater conflict grows
Higher and higher every day.
Sebastian junger: Any
reasonable person would flee
The kind of fighting
that we've seen in syria.
They'd happily
risk their lives to be
Smuggled across the border.
They'd collect by
the millions in neighboring
Countries even living
in squalid refugee camps.
Eventually, they'd make
their way to the west to look
For a better life
for their children.
People say "look,
it's not our problem."
Okay, it's not your
problem but that doesn't mean
You won't be affected by it.
You can say that you
don't actually care about human
Suffering but the truth is
that all violence and misery
Eventually affect
the entire world.
In that sense, there is no
escaping the fact that we are
All part of the human race.
There is no escaping the
fact that borders become
Irrelevant once people
start dying and societies
Begin to collapse.