Meet The Female Soldiers Fighting ISIS For Revenge On The Group's Violent Misogyny
The Debrief: The Yazidis and the Kurds have been slaughtered, abducted and abused by ISIS, and so they’re wreaking revenge…
Of ISIS’s many assaults on human life and decency the repeated attacks on women have been particularly twisted.
As well as rounding up and killing hundreds of the men and boys, the Islamist fighters have abducted, abused and raped thousands of girls of the Yazidi sect. They have then returned the girls, some of them pregnant, some of them children, to their families.
They don’t kill the Yazidi women and girls because it’s a bigger insult to the victim’s family, where her ‘honour’ is seen as paramount to their status, if she remains alive after her ordeal. Other girls are used as slaves, human shields or suicide bombers.
But women in the region are fighting back. Step in...
The Sun Girls
No, no, not Page 3 'lovelies'. These are a 123-strong battalion put together by Xate Shingali, a singer who got permission to create the all-women militia from the Kurdish president.
Xate, who’s been known up until now for performing traditional Yazidi music (FYI, Kurdistan is an area which covers Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran and Yazidis are a religious and ethnic group who mostly live within this area. Not all Kurds are Yazidis, not all Yazidis are Kurds) is now the leader of the group.
Fighters, reports MailOnline, are aged from 17-30 and they’re being trained by the male Kurdish fighters to use AK-47s.
One 17-year-old, Jane Fares, who had escaped ISIS with her brother after the extremists took hold of Sinjar Mountain, in the north of Iraq, said: ‘My father was so happy when I had told him I had joined this union.
'All families accept us to join this union... We are happy to fight along side the peshmerga.'
The 2nd Battalion
As for the peshmerga – the official Kurdistan military – they have this all-women battalion, headed up by 49-year-old Colonel Nahida Ahmad Rashid.
She told The Sun: ‘Daesh [it’s an insulting word for ISIS] are worried that if they are killed by a woman on the battlefield they won’t go to paradise.
‘It’s a weapon for us. They don’t like to be killed by us. But we know we must never be captured by Daesh. They don’t treat women like human beings.’
ISIS are aware of the women seeking to destroy them, she says: ‘We have seen what they have done to the Yazidi women and they have not taken up arms against Daesh. So we know that our fate would be very bad.
‘Daesh have put my photograph on their website and encouraged their members to capture me. They set an ambush for us in Kirkuk recently. They wanted to kidnap us but it was foiled.’
Despite all of this? Kurdish and Yazidi women are continuing to fight, in spite of opposition from those who feel it’s not a woman’s place to take up arms. 23-year-old Sergeant Sazan Taib explained: ‘Some people say it’s a shameful thing we are doing. But it’s my decision. I do what I want.’
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Picture: Owen Holdaway
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