Samira al-Nasr has been forced to assist in the delivery of the children of IS members, often describing the process as either completely ordinary or grotesque.
Irish women were just one of the nationalities among the pregnant women that Samira al-Nasr met with when she was first forced to begin delivering babies to families within the Islamic State.
Referred to as the “cubs of the caliphate,” Nasr began being shuttled at all hours of the night to deliver the children in 2014 out of fear for her own life. She now believes that God has judged her for choosing to deliver the children, however, taking her own son from her when the building he was treating victims of an airstrike in was bombed.
“My heart is dark from the injustice,” Nasr told the Washington Post. “My pain is deep.”
“What choice did I have?” she asked.
“I would do it against my will. Even if I was afraid or disgusted, it is irrelevant. I was forced to help them.”
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“Moments after an infant was born to a Turkish couple...they tried to dress their newborn son in a custom-tailored military uniform. The father proudly declared that the child would grow up to become an Islamist militant” https://t.co/pA5GpBEkgp— Seamus Hughes (@SeamusHughes) April 26, 2018
Now aged 66, Nasr tells of how one baby she delivered was put into a military uniform as soon as he was born before she managed to convince his father that it was too rough for the baby’s skin.
“They had no respect for the profession,” she said of her role of midwife, one she used to cherish when she was working in Raqqa, Syria.
“I was like a prop, not a caregiver. I would attend the birth and they would toss me out.”
Many of the women were elated to be mothers, she said, while some of the fathers imposed strict rules.
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A chilling, painful read: Syrian midwife, forced to deliver babies for ISIS in Raqqa, shares moments tender and cruel https://t.co/ixLb1c4c25— Kim Ghattas (@BBCKimGhattas) April 26, 2018
“They wouldn’t let me give her a thing,” she recalled.
“These women endured a lot of pain.
Nasr was recruited because the militants did not trust local doctors and nurses to attend to their wives, fearing those hostile to their rule would attempt to poison them.
“They just didn’t trust the medicine coming from me, an outsider,” she added.
“They wouldn’t even let me give her a glass of water unless the husband poured it himself.”
Youngest wives were 13, oldest no more than 15: An ISIS midwife's account https://t.co/QQqEbbHgoE pic.twitter.com/6g4ZHMdYSA— NDTV (@ndtv) April 26, 2018
While she met with Tunisians, Saudis, Egyptians, Yemenis, Somalis, Moroccans, Irish women, French women, Germans, Russians, Turks and other nationalities she could not identify, Nasr was always struck by how young the Syrian wives were, none of them ever being older than 18 years old.
“These were not humans,” she said of the militants. “They were a different kind of creature.”
H/T: Washington Post