Thursday, September 20, 2018

Kurdish forces in Syria say this video captures the moment a woman freed from Isis captivity in Raqqa tore off her black ropes in celebration of her freedom.

It came as local anti-Isis forces announced the battle for the extremist group’s former stronghold was in its “final” stages.

The Syrian city was overwhelmed by the extremist group in 2014, who unleashed an orgy of violence and introduced strict shariah rules. 

The unnamed woman, wearing dark full body robes, is recorded jumping for joy and kissing the ground, apparently just minutes after being released from the city, in a YPG propaganda video.

After kissing and hugging YPG fighters, she then rips off her outer clothing, imposed by Isis on all female civilians under their control. Hidden underneath was a blouse with a colourful leopard print style design. 

Another video posted by a Kurdish journalist in Raqqa appeared to corroborate the YPG account. 

Nazim Dastan posted a video of civilians fleeing from a rubble strewn area of the city earlier on Saturday, one of whom appears to be the woman featured in the YPG video. 

Isis is believed to be in an extremely weak position in the small area of Raqqa it still controls, and armed only with light weapons with no way to be resupplied. 

Thousands of civilians were trapped in the city by Isis as a US-backed coalition offensive against the city began earlier this year. 

Many were used by Isis as human shields in a bid to deter coalition strikes, it was reported.

But an agreement was reached on Saturday to allow remaining civilians and local Isis fighters to leave the city, according to the AP. 

The deal, agreed by local officials and tribesmen, did not apply to foreign militants fighting in the city. 

The coalition said was not involved in the talks but “believes that it will save lives” and allow anti-Isis forces to focus on defeating the group in Raqqa with less risk to civilians. 

The deal, reached on Thursday, will allow the SDF to screen and search all those leaving the area. A convoy of vehicles was scheduled to leave Raqqa later on Saturday, according to a coalition statement.

Additional reporting by agencies