Video of the celebrations emerged Wednesday on a YouTube channel affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Syrian rebel group made up mostly of Kurdish fighters. The video shows men, women, and children all singing and dancing to celebrate their liberation from the Islamic State. Two of the women in the video take off their veil and proceed to light it ablaze in celebration. Two other women celebrate their freedom by lighting up a cigarette, while children are seen dancing in the streets.
common occurrence upon being freed from ISIS rule. To many, it is a symbol of oppression.
Syrian women deciding to torch their burqas and veils has become a
“Damn this stupid invention that they made us wear,” a Syrian woman said in August after she was liberated by the SDF. “We’re humans, we have our freedom.”
The Islamic State has ordered women in Iraq and Syria to wear full veils or be subject to “serious punishment.”
The SDF is a critical component of the U.S.-backed coalition battling the Islamic State, as Kurdish forces are engaged in a campaign to cut off ISIS supply lines throughout the country. In recent days, they have continued to push further into ISIS-held territory, liberating many towns and villages along the way. According to Kurdish news outlet Rudaw, the SDF “crossed into Deir ez-Zur province [in Syria] for the first time Tuesday.”
SDF troops plan on continuing their push forward until they reach Raqqa, which is known as the Syrian headquarters of the Islamic State.