In August 2014, ISIS invaded and took control of Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, unleashing attacks on the Yazidi people of the region. They killed men and older women, and abducted young women and children. Now, the Yazidi women and their allies want revenge, reports The Times of India.
In Kananshor village near Sinjar, a group of Yazidi women, and Kurish women from Syria and Turkey, have come together to fight ISIS. "After what happened to the Yazidi women it's important to have all women units here," a female fighter named Denis from Turkey told TOI. "We help train the Yazidi women to defend themselves and then they can control their own future. That's why we're here," she said.
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These women are YBS fighters, which is part of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the parliamentary wing of Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party, and they're one of the most successful units currently fighting ISIS. That might be because a lot of ISIS soldiers are terrified of female fighters. In Islam, if a man is killed by a women he cannot go to heaven, something that the YBS soldiers take full advantage of.
Denis told TOI, "They are so scared of us! If we kill them they can't go to heaven. It makes us laugh.... We make loud calls of happiness when we see them to let them know we are coming. That's when they become cowards."
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The YBS has attracted a lot of fighters from Syria. A woman named Rozaline left medical school to come fight with the other women and defend the Yazidis. She describes horrible things she saw ISIS do in Syria and wants to put an end to the killing. "I must protect the Yazid women from those animals.... I hate them so much but I'm not afraid," she told TOI.
Denis has been a fighter for many years now and she doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. She isn't just fighting for Yazidi women, she's fighting for women everywhere. "...our sisters around the world - they suffer under the power of men, In Africa, in Asia, in Europe and American women suffer like the Yazidis. The fight of our women is a fight for all women," she said.
Top Photo: Displaced Iraqi children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, at a refugee camp on the outskirt of Duhok province April 5, 2016.