A 25-year-old woman teacher who became a sniper in Kobanê told NBC’s Richard Engle in 2014, “We stand here as a symbol of strength for women in the Middle East.” (PKK is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, peshmerga or YPG are Kurdish troops in general, YPJ is women fighters, YJA-Star are the women’s guerrilla units, and PAJK is the Free Women’s Party.) The YPJ soldiers were the ones who fought the ISIS soldiers and rescued the Yazidis trapped on a mountain in Iraq. ISIS captured several thousand Yazidi girls and women, turning young ones into sex slaves. Some Yazidi women joined Kurdish women to fight the terrorists, as shown in photos.[i] After their escape, some developed a purification ritual, seen in a BBC video, but thousands remained in slavery or as child soldiers for ISIS.[ii]
[i] “Female Yazidi and Kurdish Soldiers Fight Back Against ISIS,” ABC News, 2016.
[ii] BBC, August 29, 2017