Here, women sometimes change their hair after a breakup. They want to become something new, something different. A fresh start.
That all seems so superficial once you see what women fleeing ISIS have done.
These women have seen the terrible things. They have been oppressed for too long. And they aren’t going to put up with it anymore.
Dozens of black veils dotted the northern Syrian landscape. The woman ditched their veils while fleeing the ISIS bastion of Raqa as the US-backed fighters closed in.
Yahoo News reports:
Outside the village of Tishreen Farms, 17 kilometres (10 miles) north of Raqa, the Syrian Democratic Forces could be seen laying sandbags to protect themselves from IS car bombs and snipers.
With air support from the US-led coalition, the alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters has seized swathes of territory from the jihadists, who were stationed less than a kilometre away.
SDF fighters told AFP that women hastily shed their IS-mandated black veils after crossing into SDF territory near Tishreen Farms, revealing vibrant, patterned robes underneath.
“Most of the women tear off their robes and burqas as soon as they arrive at our positions,” an SDF fighter said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Some of the women stomp on the robes because they finally feel safe and are finished with Daesh,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
What a fantastic gesture of liberation!
It’s been reported that thousands of civilians have been smuggled out of Raqa and the surrounding areas in the recent weeks.
ISIS had brutal measures put in place, but people still managed to get away.
Ahmad was one of those people. He considers himself one of the lucky ones.
“IS is using the civilians as human shields to protect itself. We fled as part of a group two days ago, and an IS sniper shot and killed two of us.”
The SDF has seized most of the Raqa province. Fighters are still working on fully besieging Raqa city.
“As our troops get closer and closer to Raqa city, the number of soldiers and advisers from the international coalition continues to increase,” Sello told AFP.
The US has dispatched about 900 troops to Syria to help train and advise the SDF, as well as a Marine artillery unit.
Ahmad al-Hassan, a clean-shaven local SDF commander, said the US-led coalition “has provided the SDF with special weapons including artillery, tanks, anti-tank missiles.”
Like many SDF fighters, he wore a scarf around his head to protect from the reddish dust in the air from an incoming sandstorm.
The SDF would fully liberate the city in coordination with the coalition, Hassan said, but “Raqa will only be for its people.”