Syria's Ticking Time Bomb

Despite the territorial defeat of ISIS in Syria, the jihadi group remains a significant threat. Rojava in Northeastern Syria faces the challenge of dealing with 12,000 detained ISIS fighters and some 56,000 ISIS family members.

  • Kawa Akrawi
    Chemical Ali, One Yazidi Family vs. ISIS,
  • Kawa Akrawi
    Chemical Ali, One Yazidi Family vs. ISIS,
  • Kawa Akrawi
    Chemical Ali, One Yazidi Family vs. ISIS,
  • Gulan Akrawi
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    57 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    250,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Syrian Arab Republic
  • Language:
    Arabic, English, Kurdish, Norwegian
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Kawa Akrawi

    April 12, 2023
Distribution Information
  • Journeyman Pictures Ltd
    Country: United Kingdom
Director Biography - Kawa Akrawi

Kawa a Kurdish filmmaker who has been committed to documenting social justice issues through film since 1995. His work focuses on exposing the atrocities committed by the Baath party in Iraq and shedding light on the struggles of marginalised communities in the region.

After the fall of Saddam, Kawa co-produced and directed two powerful documentaries, "Saddam's Mass Grave" and "Chemical Ali", which were filmed during his extensive travels through Iraq. "Saddam's Mass Grave" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, earning critical acclaim for its raw and unflinching portrayal of the horrors committed by the Baath regime.

Kawa's more recent documentaries, including "Kuljo: My Heart is Bleeding" and "One Yazidi Family Vs ISIS", have been broadcasted worldwide on BBC World and Al Jazeera TV. As a field director and D.O.P, Kawa brings his unique perspective and empathy to these projects, capturing the struggles and resilience of marginalised communities in Iraq with great sensitivity and depth.

In addition to his documentary work, Kawa has also worked on an ambitious project with the RWF World as part of a Daniel Libeskind Museum project, filming and directing over 250 short stories between 2009 and 2019.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

After completing a film about a Yazidi family fleeing from ISIS massacres in Iraq in 2014, I felt a strong urge to investigate the roots of ISIS and understand the reason behind this Islamic jihadi group's hatred towards humanity.

This journey took me to Rojava, a region in Northeastern Syria, where I visited the areas ISIS controlled and talked with detained ISIS fighters, their families and the local people. Here I realised that the ideology of this horrific movement is still alive and that this terror group was not operating alone.

Despite facing numerous challenges and constantly moving for security reasons, we were determined to shed light on the critical situation in Syria through this film. I want the viewers to see what is happening here and why they should be concerned about a region that may seem far from their doorsteps.

For example, one particular scene that stood out during our filming was our visit to the Al Hol camp, where we witnessed the devastating effects of the conflict on innocent children. We were disturbed to hear children of European parents singing Islamist fight songs that glorified death and violence. It was a stark reminder of the far-reaching impact of the conflict in Syria and the urgent need for international cooperation to find a solution.

Another important fact that many people abroad may not be aware of is the extent of Turkish intervention in the region. Turkish military drones are active in the sky of Northeastern Syria, and they are not targeting the Islamic jihadi terror fighters but rather innocent civilians and vital infrastructure.

The situation in Syria is complex and volatile, and it is essential to understand the roots of the conflict and the various actors involved. Through this film, we aimed to provide a platform for the voices of those affected by the conflict and to encourage Western countries to engage in finding a solution.