Kurdish female fighters have celebrated in Raqqa this week after the defeat of ISIS militants, whose brutal rule over the city has come to an end after almost four years.
When asked what motivated them to dive into one of the fiercest battles against the terror group to date, the women said they did it both for the Kurdish cause and to liberate the women of Raqqa.
ISIS ruled the Syrian city with a barbarity that gripped the world, and women in particular experienced an oppression many never thought imaginable.
They were forced to cover their bodies head to toe or risk public lashings. ISIS also captured and sold girls and women as sex slaves, particularly Kurdish-Yazidi minority women trafficked into Raqqa from northern Iraq.
After Tuesday’s announcement that ISIS had been defeated, the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) vowed to keep on fighting, many lamenting the 30 women they lost in the operation.