Kurdish women continue to pick up arms in Iraq to fight against the Islamic State, emboldened by the fact that jihadis believe being killed by a woman means Allah will not reward them with virgins.
“They are so scared of us! If we kill them they can’t go to heaven,” explained Haveen, a 22-year-old fighter, in a new report on female anti-Islamic State fighters published by the UK Independent. “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.”
She added, “I like that when we kill them they lose their heaven. I don’t know how many of them I’ve killed. It’s not enough. I won’t be happy until they’re all dead.”
Haveen and her friend Denis belong to the YBS, an “all-women or ‘jin’ unit based in Kananshor,” located near Sinjar mountain. Yazidi and Kurds from Turkey and Syria make up the unit.
“Raping the Yazidi women was part of [the Isis] plan. Destroy the women, destroy the culture,” said Haveen.
The Islamic State raided Sinjar in the summer of 2014. The militants destroyed homes, killed as many men as possible, and kidnapped women and children to force them into sex slavery. The terrorist group considers Yazidis “devil-worshippers.”
“After what happened to the Yazidi women it’s important to have all women units here,” insisted Denis.
The People’s Protection Units (YPG) trained Yazidi women to fight the Islamic State.
“We have to support these women and help them to protect themselves,” continued Denis. “Isis took those women and children because they wanted to destroy their honour. We help train the Yazidi women to defend themselves and then they can control their own future. That’s why we’re here.”
The women have their own living quarters, which they have “adorned with pictures of female martyrs and brightly coloured carpets.” Male and female soldiers are also forbidden from entering romantic relationships with each other while they are on active duty.
“We live separately but that’s the only difference,” stated Haveen. “On the frontline we are all the same.”
A former medical student from Syria dropped her studies to join the YBS.
“I came to kick Isis out of these lands,” said Rozaline. “I came for the Yazidi women. I saw them cutting women’s heads off in Rojava [what Kurds call the three Kurdish enclaves just south of the Turkish border in Syria]. I saw so many awful things. I don’t want to see any more cutting and killing.”
Last August, Yazidi singer Xate Shingali formed an all-female brigade. She received permission from the Kurdish president to form the “Sun Girls” battalion on July 2. More than 123 women between 17 and 30 signed up to battle the brutal terrorists. The male Kurdish fighters train the women with AK-47s.
The Kurdish Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ) expanded in northern Syria in January. Commander Servin Rojava said the government formed the YPJ on April 4, 2013, to protect the Kurds in northern Syria. The group consists of Assyrian, Arab, and other foreign women.