The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that a Kurdish woman is leading the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Kobane, Syria.
“Mayssa Abdo, known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin, is commanding the YPG in Kobane along with Mahmud Barkhodan,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the rights group leader.
Iraq has relied on the Kurdish army, the Peshmerga, since the Islamic State advanced its Caliphate into Iraq. One battalion of the Pershmega is exclusively female. The Kurdish fighters use pseudonyms, and Abdo’s pseudonym is “from the Afrin region where she was born that is located like Kobane in Aleppo province.”
“Those who know her say she is cultivated, intelligent and phlegmatic,” said activist Mustefa Ebdi. “She cares for the mental state of the fighters and takes interest in their problems.”
All of the female Peshmerga are volunteers. The mothers make room to care for their children and train twice a week. The other females train every day.
“They’ve been trained with SWAT teams and with the special forces,” says Col. Rashid, explaining that some even have battle experience: “Some have already fought alongside their male colleagues on the front line and I’m sending others to Kirkuk soon. I was in Kirkuk myself recently.”
Kurdish fighter Dilar Gencxemis blew herself up to attack the Islamic State outside of Kobane, an attack which killed dozens of jihadists. These women are proud to fight against the Islamic State.
“It’s an honor to be part of a modern Muslim country that allows women to defend the homeland,” said one unidentified mother. “We enjoy the same treatment as male fighters do as required by law.”
The jihadists fear a woman on the battlefield. They believe if they die in jihad, they will be rewarded with 72 virgins in heaven. However, if a woman kills them, the men are denied their virgins.
“These [ISIS] soldiers apparently believed that if they were killed in battle, they went to paradise as long as they were killed by a man,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), who chairs the U.S. House International Relations Committee. “And these female soldiers were communicating their satisfaction with the fact that they had taken the fight to ISIL and had stopped the advance, turned back the advance – slayed a number of these fighters, who would then run away.”
If Kobane falls, the Islamic State will control a large amount of area in northern Syria. It also represents everything the jihadists detest. They prefer to rule lands under strict Islamic laws. Kobane is “a thriving popular experiment in secular pluralism, gender equality, and democratic autonomy.”
Furthermore, if the city falls, extremists may be able to more easily enter Syria through Turkey. Many alleged ties between Turkey and the Islamic State exist. Turkey declared support for groups against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and CNN featured Turkey’s secret jihadi route to Syria. Many Westerners have entered Syria through Turkey in an effort to join the Islamic State. One jihadist claimed that without Turkey’s support and money, the Islamic State would not have advanced to its current state.