They were living in holes in the ground, with only dry flatbread to eat at the end. Those injured in an intense military campaign had no access to medical care, and those who were sick had no medicine.
Yet, if it were not for the call from their leaders to leave, they would have stayed.
Such is the devotion of several hundred men, women and children who were evacuated Friday from the last speck of land controlled by the Islamic State group, a riverside pocket that sits on the edge of Syria and Iraq. Hundreds, if not thousands, more remain holed up in Baghouz.