ISIS fears us more than men, say Kurdish women fighters

October 20, 2014 | By | Reply More

Oct 21, – Deprived of sleep and armed with only a Kalashnikov, Avshin Kobane knows each day could be her last. But she is not afraid to fight on the frontline, defending the Syrian town from which she takes her nom de guerre against one of the most violent terrorist groups the world has seen.

hromedia ISIS fears us more than men, say Kurdish women fighters arab uprising2“There is no difference between men and women in our society,” said the member of the YPJ, the women’s wing of the Kurdish defence forces fighting ­Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

“As a girl, I have to defend my home town. It should not be left just to the men.

“When we are on the frontline and they start shooting at us, that makes us feel braver. We are happy when we hear these shots. We thank God we are here. ISIS are monsters, but we are not afraid.”

“Kobane”, 28, and her fellow fighters know they will be beheaded if caught by Islamic State. Over the weekend, however, after months of fighting, their sacrifice appeared finally to be bearing fruit.

Speaking by phone from the town, which lies on Syria’s border with Turkey, “Kobane’’ said morale among the battle group she commanded was high after a campaign of intensive air strikes by a US-led coalition had helped them to push Islamic State back into an eastern corner of the town.

“Around 90 per cent of the town is now under our control, ­although fighting is raging in an industrial park in the east of the city, and ISIS are continuing to shell us,” she said.

Kurdish forces repelled a fresh attempt by Islamic State yesterday to cut off the border crossing with Turkey, the sole route for supplies or escape.

The US military warns that, while there have been “encouraging” signs, Kobane may still fall as the jihadists send reinforcements. But recent gains fly in the face of predictions two weeks ago of an imminent Kurdish defeat.

If the YPJ and its male counterpart, the YPG, succeed in liberating the town, it will be a huge blow in a propaganda war that has portrayed the murderous jihadists as invincible in their sweep across Syria and Iraq. Perhaps partly in recognition of this, last week the US-led coalition stepped up air strikes on the town, most of whose 200,000 residents have fled over the Turkish border.

More bombs were dropped in Kobane last week than in the ­entire air campaign so far. More than 50 air strikes hit Islamic State.

Despite the worldwide attention the battle for Kobane has ­attracted, analysts say it is a sideshow compared with the battle against Islamic State for Anbar, the largest province in Iraq. The situation there has been rapidly deteriorating in recent weeks, and the jihadists now control 80 per cent of its territory.

General John Allen, who is co-ordinating the US-led campaign, said last week that “the emergency in Iraq right now is foremost in our thinking”. The fall of Ramadi, the capital of the vast Sunni-dominated province, would be a disaster that would help Islamic State in its march towards Baghdad. Security in the city is rapidly deteriorating, with bombings killing almost 50 people since Friday.

For weeks, Iraqi forces on Baghdad’s perimeter have been trying to push Islamic State back from the town of Abu Ghraib, which would put the insurgents within striking distance of the international airport.

The Iraqi army, dogged by weak leadership, has had limited success. Across the region it has instead been Kurdish forces — the Peshmerga in Iraq and the YPG in Syria — that have been credited with the most successful military campaigns against Islamic State.

The presence of women, who have equal status to men, in combat roles in the Kurdish forces is thought to strike fear into the ­jihadists, who believe their place in paradise will be jeopardised if they are killed by a woman.

One of the most senior comman­ders co-ordinating the battle for Kobane is Narin Afrin, 40, who is described as having a brilliant military mind. She said Kurdish forces would “fight until the last bullet to save the civilians”.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

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Category: Arab uprising

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