‘Your Kids Belong To IS,’ Militants Tell Tajik Widow

When Gulru Olimova’s husband, Loik, was killed fighting alongside Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria recently, the 25-year-old Tajik woman decided to pack her bags and return to Tajikistan with her children.

Following protocol, Gulru asked IS’s amir, or commander, in Aleppo for permission to return home to Tajikistan.

The IS commander agreed to let Gulru leave. On one condition: Gulru’s children — 7-year-old Fotima, 4-year-old Ahmad, and 6-month-old Rumaiso — were the “property of Islamic State,” the commander said, and so she would have to leave them behind.