A group of Islamic State militants who are being held inside a Kurdish prison claim they were deceived into joining the terrorists, and are expressing regret for killing children as part of the group's ethno-religious genocide.
CNN interviewed three former IS militants who said that while they served different purposes under IS' command, they now regret helping the terrorists and no longer believe in their ideology. The men are waiting to be prosecuted for their crimes in a non-disclosed location.
Abdelrahman al-Azy admitted to being ordered by IS to kill a member of an elite unit of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service, and although he at first felt proud of the murder, he now realizes his actions were wrong.
"I was a believer. I believed in the caliphate and I believed in the Islamic State," al-Azy said. "They said the pledge to the caliph is from the days of the [Islamic] prophet [Muhammad] and those who don't pledge are not Muslims. I was convinced by this."
He said that while IS led him to believe that all non-Muslims should be killed, he now rejects such extreme ideology.
"I don't believe in the caliphate anymore. I am of course a Muslim and I still do my prayers. Nothing else has changed in terms of the practice of my faith. But regarding the Islamic State, I don't want anything to do with them," he said.
Akram Ahmed, a 22-year-old who did reconnaissance and surveillance for IS, admitted that at first he was attracted by the idea of a nation ruled by the laws of Islam.
"The caliphate persuaded us with religion. I am a student of Sharia law in university. So these ideas are convincing to me," he revealed.
Akram Ahmed claimed that he didn't realize the extent of IS' slaughter and destruction, and said he now feels guilt for IS' attack on Kirkuk.
"Everything that happened I bear responsibility for. Everything that happened is my fault," he said. "I always think about it. I used to have friends in the Iraqi Security Forces."
He said that he hopes one day he will be able to live back home in his community, but understands that people are blaming him for playing a part in the atrocities carried out by the radical jihadists.
"Now if I walk in my street people will say I killed their children. If I go to the mosque people will say he killed my children. If I come to get married, people will say he killed our children," Akram Ahmed said.
Another man, Laith Ahmed, revealed that he was persuaded to join IS because they offered him a salary, and he decided to sign-up because he was poor and illiterate, and did not understand the true horrors behind the terror group.
"I made a mistake. I don't know how to read or write. Everything I did was wrong," Laith Ahmed said.
He revealed that he was supposed to serve as a suicide fighter for IS, but was captured by authorities after being wounded in a gun battle while on his way with other IS fighters to attack the city of Kirkuk.
"I swear they tricked us. I don't know anything," he argued. "They brought us on foot into Kirkuk and gave us AKs. Then they positioned us in specific locations and left."
There have been a number of interviews conducted with captured IS fighters this past year, with one former militant, known only by the pseudonym Zurab, telling Russia Today back in July that Christians captured by IS have no hope of survival.
"They would not even talk to Christians, Christians would be killed on the spot," Zurab told Russia Today. "They would find them and publicly execute them. I witnessed many executions."