Among those leading military operations to liberate the city of Raqqa in Syria from the hands of ISIS is a woman by the name of Klara Flat. She is the Commander-in-chief of the campaign to capture the city and is leading around 30,000 fighters.
She believes that the myths of women’s inability to fight, build societies, lead battles and their general stereotypes connected to “weakness” are being refuted. Her role as a leader is not being perceived through the lens of gender but through her ability to make strong and robust decisions.
Part of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the predominantly Kurdish-populated areas of Northern Syria is composed of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). The YPJ is an all-female military organisation that comprises of women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are currently engaging in some of the most ferocious battles to date on the Mikman axis, located in the northeastern countryside of Raqqa. It is considered to be one of the most significant strongholds of ISIS.
The SDF are making strong gains against ISIS having liberated another district, al-Qadisiya. They have also reported the capture of the village of Ghouta in the southern outskirts of the city. A number of ISIS leaders have also been reportedly killed by the SDF in their surge into Raqqa city.
The mass displacement and killings of innocent civilians by ISIS is being treated as a serious issue. As in Mosul, ISIS is losing ground to its opponents and civilians that attempt escape are being hounded down by the terrorist group’s militants. Those stuck in ISIS-held areas are living in unbearable conditions. Those lucky enough to escape have fled to places such as Ein Issa, just outside the city, although a lack of humanitarian aid has caused great shortages for the tens of thousands in the area.