For foreign volunteers from Europe and the U.S. who came to fight ISIS, the moment of victory raised a whole new set of problems.
RAQQA, Syria—There never was a lot about the square called al Naim—paradise—that seemed to justify its heavenly name. This is a dry and dusty city, and the square is more of a traffic circle, but there’s an island of green at its center, and there were a lot of colorful shops and cafés around it where people would come for tea or ice cream.
Then the Islamic State came here, and made this hub at the center of its de facto capital one of its favorite venues for executions. Anyone who witnessed what went on here can tell you that Paradise Square became Hell.