Kurdish women fighters free 140 Yazidis from IS near Syria’s Raqqa

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has freed 140 Yazidis, most of whom were women and children, during an operation against the Islamic State (IS) group targeting the Syrian city of Raqqa, a spokeswoman for the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) said Friday.

“Operation Wrath of Euphrates was launched to avenge the Yazidi women. Our forces have rescued many women from the gangs during this campaign,” Nesrin Abdullah said, speaking about 140 Yazidis, including 70 women and 64 children, as quoted by the Kurdish Firat news agency.

She added that the SDF had recently freed another three women, who had already been sent to the Kurdish-controlled Jazira Canton.

“As the YPJ, we will fulfill our promise to rescue all Yazidi women held captive by ISIS gangs,” the spokeswoman added.

Over recent years, the IS has occupied vast parts of both Syria and Iraq, including the cities of Raqqa. as well as territories inhabited by the Yazidis, an ethnically Kurdish religious community. The jihadists have been known to kill Yazidi men and boys and to enslave the ethnic group’s women and girls.