Canadian women fleeing ISIS territory surrender to U.S.-backed forces in Syria

Two Canadian women have surrendered to U.S.-backed forces after fleeing the last patch of ISIS territory in Syria, according to a non-profit group that said it had encouraged them to give themselves up.

The women and their four children are the latest Canadians to be detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led armed group that is poised to retake the final town under ISIS control.

Their surrender brings the number of Canadians held by the SDF to at least 20, mostly children. Five are women and four are men, including two self-admitted ISIS fighters from the Toronto area.

Thousands have reportedly been leaving the last ISIS pocket near the Iraqi border in recent weeks, among them suspected foreign fighters and their families.

Prof. Alexandra Bain, the director of Families Against Violent Extremism, said the Canadian women contacted her last weekend from the ISIS-held town of Baghuz and she encouraged them to surrender to the SDF.

“I explained that pretty much anywhere they would run to, they’d end up getting picked up by either the Kurds or the Iraqis,” Bain told Global News.

“They were only getting ISIS’s version of the war and had no idea of what was actually going on.”

Communicating through a social media application, she said she reassured them they would be treated humanely and helped them get to a location where they could surrender.

She described them as “afraid and uncertain,” and she said had not heard from them since they had gone into SDF custody.

She declined to identify the women or explain what they were doing in ISIS territory, but the other detained Canadian women are from Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, and had married ISIS foreign fighters.

A New York Times reporter wrote on Twitter on Thursday that she had spoken to the Canadians, whom she identified as Dure Ahmed, 28, of Toronto, and a 34-year-old from Alberta.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source: Read Full Article