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ERBIL – Dozens of underage Syrian girls in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor have been forced into marriage with militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group, local sources reported on Saturday.
“At least 22 teenage girls have been forced to marry ISIS militants in the last three weeks,” local media activist Maher Abu Taiba told ARA News.
“Families are unable to protest against such violations by the radical group for fear of arrest and execution,” Taiba said.
“ISIS claims that those marriages are in accordance with the Islamic Sharia, stressing that parents who refuse their daughters’ marriage from the group’s militants would be considered apostates and would be mercilessly punished,” the source said.
Speaking to ARA News in Deir ez-Zor, father of two underage girls who have been forced to marry militants said the fear of brutal punishment has obliged him to remain silent.
“My two daughters have married ISIS members against their will. The youngest is 13 and the oldest is 15,” he said.
“It is a painful reality. We have raised our children on idealistic values, and now we are being forced to give them up in such a painful way under threats by the Islamic State and its allied Sharia Court,” the father said on the condition of anonymity.
Amid the deteriorating living conditions in the province, Deir ez-Zor has recently seen a mass displacement among civilians, especially after the extremist group has tightened its control on the surrounding countryside.
ISIS has imposed its control over large areas in Deir ez-Zor in April, while pro-Assad forces still hold few neighborhoods in the city.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News