More than a dozen British jihadists have been jailed by brutal Islamic State [Daesh] killers because they wanted to flee back to the UK and escape the frontline, the Daily Mirror can reveal.
They are among more than 40 foreign fighters put behind bars at jails in Syria by the brutal network because they were suspected of wanting to return to their home countries or were caught trying to escape.
The jailed dozen Brits are thought to be mostly in their 20s, may include several teenagers and are mostly from cities in southern England.
All foreign fighters arriving in Syria and Iraq who are recruited by senior Islamic State figures are told to rip up and burn their passports, ensuring they stay in the war-zone.
But the Daily Mirror has learned from security sources that, among the softer British fighters, some were sickened by the levels of violence and depravity against prisoners, including public executions and torture.
And British fighters - most of whom are not battle-hardened before arriving in Syria - are seen as softer and less competent fighters than those brought up in Asian and African countries.
Some of them have been given menial jobs, working almost as servants to senior Arab fighters.
But there are still a number of hardcore British jihadists like hostage killer Mohammed Emwazi - AKA Jihadi John - who are respected by their peers because of their brutality.
One source told the Mirror: “It has been quite difficult to get news out of Syria and Iraq about the whereabouts of British fighters, especially in areas like the headquarters of IS in the Syrian city Raqqa.
“Anyone suspected of being a spy or a weak member of the organisation in terms of wanting to leave because they have had a change of heart is jailed and faces execution.
“The leaders expect unbending loyalty to the cause of Islamic State and will use the most barbaric means to dissuade fighters from changing their mind.
“This is partly because of concern they may help agencies outside the Middle east to gather key intelligence on the inner workings of the Islamic State and simply because they need all the fighters they can get.”
There are feared to be well over 500 British fighters who have travelled to Syria to fight holy war, although even if many of them have died on the battlefield the total fighters there could be much higher.
It is also believed that Islamic State senior figures are demanding that recruiters step up their operations in grooming young men and women to travel to Syria as numbers are dwindling.
When Islamic State was gaining huge military victories over the Syrian and Iraqi armies last year recruitment reached an all-time high often with as many as 100 new fighters arriving every day.
But some left and many were killed in battles in northern Iraq and Syrian areas like the stricken city of Kobane - where dozens of British SAS troops have covertly called in air-strikes against IS.
The source said:” “Islamic State has lost much of the momentum it achieved last year, with falling recruitment numbers and a dramatic downturn in military successes.
“So it is desperate to hang on to fighters."
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