Syria’s warlords were nobodies. Now they are rich men with sex slaves

As Isis lose ground the other Islamist militias have a vested interest in keeping the civil war going

The other day I was speaking to a Kurdish journalist who was held in Isis captivity for ten months. He and a colleague had had the bad luck to run into an Isis checkpoint in Syria. ‘How do you perform the midday prayer?’ they were asked after their car was waved to a halt. Unable to answer — they were not believers — they were immediately beaten around the head. Then one of the jihadis from the checkpoint was put into the back of their car and they were told to drive to the Isis base. The fighter had a pistol pointed at them the whole time, which was superfluous because he was also wearing a suicide belt. ‘Make a move and I’ll detonate myself,’ he said. ‘We’ll all die together.’