Daesh fighters are resorting to increasingly desperate measures to disguise themselves in an attempt to escape Kurdish fighters in southeast Syria, an unnamed YPG commander has told the Daily Star.
“You think of it, they do it,” the commander said.
“It’s crazy right now, they’re really desperate. They are trying to blend in because there are so many [civilians],” he added.
Earlier, the Syrian Democratic Forces, the umbrella organisation which includes the YPG, reported that over 20,000 civilians had fled the area in recent days amid the battle between terrorists and the militia.
The YPG commander confirmed that fighters “have been trying to escape in women’s clothes,” explaining that “some of them dress as women because we don’t ask the women to raise their hijab.”
Other jihadists resorted to posing as members of civilian families, the commander said. “They go into random families and scare them.”
“The families are afraid to say, ‘oh no, I don’t know him’. They also say, ‘they forced me, let me pass by and I will tell you where they are’. At this point, it doesn’t really matter what they say because we know where they are. There’s only one place they can be,” the commander added, referring to the terrorists’ complete encirclement by the militia.
This isn’t the first reported case of Daesh fighters trying to flee the Syrian and Iraqi war zones in disguise. 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 Army temporarily banned the burqa and niqab in liberated Mosul for security reasons amid fears that terrorists were disguising themselves as women to escape.
Daesh’s control over wide swathes of eastern Syria and western Iraq began to dwindle in 2015, with Damascus, Baghdad and their allies starting a route of terrorist forces in 2018.
Daesh now controls just two villages near the Iraqi border, with YPG forces looking to complete the operation to clear the area by March.