Alleged footage has emerged of the elaborate lengths some presumed Daesh* fighters would go to flee the terror group’s final pocket in the Arab republic.
A video shared by a freelance journalist on Twitter shows a purported interview with a bunch of people detained by Kurdish militia during the anti-Daesh offensive in Syria’s Baghouz.
— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) March 9, 2019
One of them is wearing a pink scarf and a burqa, a traditional Muslim veil worn by women that covers the body from head to toe except for the eyes.
When told to remove the face covering, the person reveals to be a man disguised as a woman, apparently to flee the remains of the self-declared caliphate together with women and children.
The man also appears to be wearing heavy make-up with smokey eyes and high-definition eyebrows.
The interviewer can also be heard interrogating another man dressed up as a woman.
The authenticity of the video has yet to be verified.
This is not the first time Daesh militants have been caught “doing drag” to avoid arrest. Last month, Kurdish YPG militia confirmed that some fighters tried to escape the warzone in southeast Syria using a similar trick.
In 2015, shortly after the beginning of the Russian air campaign against the terrorists, hundreds of fighters in northern Syria reportedly shaved their beards and fled to Turkey. The Russian Air Force then began monitoring terrorist efforts from the de facto Daesh capital of Raqqa to flee as civilians.
Later, the Iraqi military temporarily banned the burqa and niqab in liberated Mosul for security reasons amid fears that terrorists were disguising themselves as women to escape.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a mostly-Kurdish US-backed militia, last month launched an operation against Daesh terrorists in Baghouz, a Syrian town near the Iraqi border. The battle against the group’s final enclave is drawing to a close, with jihadi fighters and their families fleeing the besieged town and surrendering to the Kurdish forces.
These refugees — some of whom came to Syria from overseas — are being placed in detention camps, as was the case with Shamima Begum, a British-born girl who fled to the country to marry a Daesh fighter. The UK has recently revoked her citizenship, despite her claims that she changed her mind about the organisation.
Not all of them, however, appear willing to follow suit. One of the women detained in Baghouz was reported to have defended militants who raped Yazidis because Yazidi women were “their property”, according to Islam.
Clips have also been circulating of alleged jihadi brides verbally abusing journalists and saluting the terror group.