Three years ago, an uprising against the Assad regime turned into what looked like a straightforward civil war between Syrian government forces and rebels. However, over time, what had started as a largely secular opposition movement began to take on more of a radical Islamist tone, with two al Qaeda offshoots -- the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra -- becoming the dominant forces on the ground across the rebel-held North.ISIS's policy of kidnapping journalists has made it almost impossible to report from within Syria. But one VICE filmmaker managed to secure unprecedented access to both al-Qaeda factions battling Syria's government forces, creating this remarkable portrait of the foreign volunteers and local Syrians willing to fight and die to establish a new caliphate on Europe's doorstep.

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