An all-female faction of a Kurdish rebel group believe they have a unique advantage in fighting ISIS in Syria, because the terrorist group are “afraid of girls”.
The Women’s Protection Units, a faction of the YPG, were formed three years ago and now have an estimated 10,000 volunteer soldiers in the war against Islamic State.
Around a third of those battling back against ISIS in Syria are now women, and the fighters believe the rare sight of women on the frontlines can actually be an unexpected advantage against the terrorists.
Speaking to CNN, one of the group’s commanders, 21-year-old Telhelden, said:
They think they’re fighting in the name of Islam. They believe if someone from Daesh [Isis] is killed by a girl, a Kurdish girl, they won’t go to heaven. They’re afraid of girls.
According to the Independent, ‘Telhelden’ literally translates to “revenge” in Kurdish, just in case you were in any doubt about how badass these women are.
The group recently drove the extremists out of Al-Houl in northern Syria and were a vital part in the Kurdish fighters retaking Kobani earlier this year.
Speaking to the BBC, 19-year-old fighter Diren, added:
When they see a woman with a gun, they’re so afraid they begin to shake. They portray themselves as tough guys to the world, they see women as just little things but one of our women is worth a hundred of them.
The women’s role in the military is a far cry from how they would be treated under ISIS rule. Women can be married to militants from as young an age as nine and women are encouraged to stay at home and be subservient to the men.
Let’s just say Islamic State aren’t so hot on the idea of gender equality.
There are also numerous horrific stories of how the terrorists have raped and enslaved women from other religions.
It’s exactly that fate which the Women’s Protection Units are fighting to avoid, considering it a mark of honour to defend their families and their homeland.
The WPU aren’t the only all-female rebel group fighting back against ISIS – Yazidi group ‘Sun Girls’ were formed to take on the terrorists in Iraq.
Words cannot express how much respect we have for these women and their bravery in the face of such horror.