Islamic State Survivors in Syria Join All-Female Battalion to Combat Jihadists

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY DELIL SOULEIMAN - Syriac Christian women, members of the battalion called the 'Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers' fighting the Islamic State group, take part in a training on December 1, 2015 at their camp in the town of al-Qahtaniyah, …

Some Syrian women who survived Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) atrocities have reportedly joined a newly formed all-female battalion to combat the terrorist group.

The Kurdish outlet ARA News reports:

Al-Bab Military Council announced on Monday the establishment of its first all-female battalion. The two-month-old council is a joint Kurdish-Arab initiative, affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

This step was reportedly inspired by the experience of the SDF battalions fighting alongside the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). Kurdish women have fought the Islamic State (ISIS) across the length and breadth of northern Syria.

Members of the all-female YPJ militia, which was formed in 2012, are fighting along the U.S.-backed SDF troops in Syria, reports the Foreign Desk.

The SDF refers to a Kurdish-Arab coalition against ISIS led by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) that controls large swathes of northern Syria.

“When ISIS invaded al-Bab city they detained my brother and killed him. I have been criticizing the practices of ISIS for a long time. I was arrested and tortured several times by ISIS terrorists,” a recruit of the new all-female battalion, identified only as Akrin, told ARA News. “An ISIS female jihadist was responsible for torturing me in a very brutal way.”

“I have joined the council because I believe in the necessity of liberating our territory from ISIS,” added another new recruit, identified only as Amhan. “This terrorist group has killed and displaced many of our people in al-Bab.”

Amhan also told ARA News that she has “joined the newly-established all-female battalion in the military council in order to fight those terrorists and free our people.”

SDF fighters hope the new all-female unit will deploy soon, notes the Foreign Desk.

The new female recruits are reportedly expected to participate in upcoming efforts to push ISIS out of al-Bab, a Syrian city in northern Aleppo province, it adds. Nearly 60,000 people are believed to reside in the city.

According to ARA News, “the al-Bab Military Council, which includes several opposition battalions, was established after the SDF and the allied Manbij Military Council pushed ISIS out of nearby Manbij city. The council has been trying to extend its ranks by incorporating fighters from different religious and ethnic communities. Now, that recruitment drive has been expanded to include women.”


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