The Yazidi all-female battalion group the Sun Ladies continues to grow in Iraq to fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
“Now we are defending ourselves from the evil; we are defending all the minorities in the region,” explained Capt. Khatoon Khider. “We will do whatever is asked of us.”
Breitbart News wrote about the Sun Girls last August, when Yazidi singer Xate Shingali formed the group. The militants murdered the families of these Yazidi women when they invaded Mount Sinjar in August 2014. The memories inspired the women to join the Kurdish Peshmerga forces to retake their land.
Families fled to the mountains when the Islamic State invaded, leaving them without food or water. CNN’s Ivan Watson flew with Iraqi air forces to Mount Sinjar to drop aid to stranded Yazidis. The helicopter managed to rescue around 20 people.
“Women were throwing their children from the mountains and then jumping themselves because it was a faster way to die,” continued Khider. “Our hands were all tied. We couldn’t do anything about it.”
The group named themselves the “Force of the Sun Ladies,” “which reflects the culture’s solar reverence.” Scholars believed the “Yazidi faith is linked to Zoroastrianism with a light/dark duality and even sun worship.” New studies show “that although their shrines are often decorated with the sun and that graves point east towards the sunrise, they share many elements with Christianity and Islam.” Yazidis believe God created the world and protects it with seven angels. He named Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel, the chief angel.
Melek Taus is also known as Shaytan, “which is Arabic for the devil.” This is why the Islamic State calls Yazidis “devil-worshippers.”
The former sex slaves either escaped the Islamic State or their families paid ransom for their freedom.
“Whenever a war wages, our women end up as the victims,” she commented.
Khider and the other women lacked “experience with weapons or combat,” but they still asked the Peshmerga officers to form the “all-female Yazifi force.”
“Our elite force is a model for other women in the region,” said Khider. “We want to thank all the other countries who help us in this difficult time, we want everyone to take up weapons and know how to protect themselves from the evil.”
Many Yazidis and Kurds have formed or joined existing armed groups against the Islamic State. Last June, 5,000 Yazidi men joined the Peshmerga forces. The Peshmerga all-female battalion, formed in 1996 to battle Saddam Hussein loyalists, often storm to the front lines of combat against the Islamic State.
The unit, led by unit commander Col. Nahida Ahmed Rashid, and the Yazidis reclaimed Sinjar from the Islamic State in November 2015.