Middle East

Women burn burqas and men shave beards to celebrate liberation from ISIS in Syria

Syrian civilians celebrated their escape from an ISIS stronghold in Raqqa by burning burqas, which they were forced to wear under the group’s oppressive rule.

A group of women pulled off the black robes over their dresses and set them alight after their families were liberated from the city in the north of Syria.

They cursed the strict dress code imposed by ISIS, who order women to cover their faces and wear loose-fitting gowns over their bodies.

Emotional survivors were filmed stamping on the garments after they were helped to freedom by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance dominated by Kurdish fighters.

One woman cried: “Give me a lighter, I’m going to burn this. May these clothes they forced us to wear be damned!”

Another civilian pointed to a woman’s black robes and said: “Burn these, may Allah burn them. They burned my father, they burned my father.”
She added: “I wish he was with us now in this happy time.”

Small children gathered around a woman who said: “They killed my father. They killed my husband. They fired a mortar at my house. My husband was outside, he was hit and died.”

A man told a barber to shave off the long beard he was forced to grow under ISIS rule, saying: “Cut it all off just to spite them.”

The families were civilians from Raqqa who were liberated by the SDF and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Rojava-Northern Syria Federation, who released the video.

The SDF launched a final assault to drive Isis out of its stronghold of the city last month, and have spearheaded efforts against the group in north-east Syria.

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