Syrians walk through the rubble following a bombing by ISIS in Marea, northern Aleppo on April 8, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/AMC/ZEIN AL-RIFAI)
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Shaven-headed former militants filled a classroom in northern Syria as a Muslim preacher taught them a more moderate form of Islam than the version they had imposed in Daesh's (ISIS) self-proclaimed "caliphate". Their class was in a new rehabilitation center for Daesh members set up in the town of Marea, north of Aleppo, in an area controlled by Syrian rebel groups backed by Turkey.The center, set up in October, is meant to address a problem emerging across swaths of Syria and Iraq – how to handle thousands of people living there who joined Daesh as it enforced its brutal rule.Civilians across Syria and Iraq often reject former Daesh militants, holding them responsible for killing people from the area and destroying the towns and cities they entered.But not all former Daesh members at the center were armed insurgents, the center's lawyer said.In an interview with Reuters at the center, former Daesh member Khalil Abdel-Ghafur spoke in formal Arabic – Daesh's preferred version of the language – until the center director reminded him to switch back to Syrian dialect.
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