The Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria has begun imposing strict curfews in some towns that it controls, and in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad there was no exception, even for a pregnant mother rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night trying to save the life of her baby.
According to the monitoring group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a team of activists who risk their lives to report on the atrocities of ISIS from inside Raqqa, the militants in the North Raqqa province town of Tel Abyad are preventing people from leaving their homes "under any circumstance."
The group reported that the town's curfew spans from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. and anyone who leaves their home during those hours is liable to be shot, no matter what their reason is.
"[T]he group's patrols have spread and shot towards anything that moves, as they arrested anyone who breaking curfew," the report states.
Although it would be plausible for such a curfew policy to include some exemptions for people who have medical emergencies or other types of issues that require them to leave their house in the middle of the night, militants refuse to accept reasonable excuses for why an unauthorized person is wandering the streets past curfew.
Relatives informed Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently that a pregnant woman, who had gone into labor in the middle of the night and was severely in danger of losing her baby, was caught rushing to the hospital by ISIS patol troops. A patrol guard shot at her and her husband and forced them to return to their home.
"[T]he husband risked his life, to go and bring a midwife, after her situation became very dangerous, knowing that the militants have shot him during his return to the house," the report added.
One man was shot in the arm by an ISIS patrol guard after he was caught in the streets during the night. The report explained that the man was going to the hospital to get medicine for his sick brother, who was suffering from a severe asthma attack caused by a dust storm. Although he was shot and wounded, the man continued his journey to the hospital, walking nearly a half a mile on his own, because no one wanted to risk being shot at to assist him.
Although ISIS sources claim that the reason for the curfew is to help prevent defections from the caliphate, as many have used the road of Tel Abyad during the night to defect into Turkey, the reason for why the curfew is so strictly enforced is likely to prevent citizens from witnessing ISIS' smuggling operations.
An alleged drug smuggler told the monitoring group that "goods smuggling operations" are taking place at night, shipping goods to and from Turkey. The smuggler said that smugglers pay ISIS a lot of money to make travel easy for them in the middle of the night.
"Note that most smuggled goods to Turkey are tobacco, the group knows this, and gets one million Syrian pounds for every car packed with tobacco in order to allow it to cross," the report stated.