World News

Life after Raqqa: 'I can't stand this situation anymore'

Posted November 1, 2017 9:29 a.m. EDT

After months living under ISIS's brutal rule, Maha finally managed to escape.

The 23-year-old Syrian widow fled Raqqa with her two-year-old son Odai and elderly aunt.

They joined hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced since last year, when a US-backed coalition launched an operation to retake the city from ISIS.

And now, even after Kurdish forces declared victory in Raqqa, their future is far from certain.

Maha's only lifeline to the outside world has been her mother Wafa, 40, who sought asylum in the Netherlands in 2014.

The following video includes excerpts from voice messages they've exchanged on WhatsApp since July, shared by Wafa with CNN. Their voices have been distorted.

This is the second part in a series following Maha's journey as she tries to reach her mother. Read the messages she sent before fleeing Raqqa.