Only days after Trump announced the immediate and full withdrawal of American forces in Syria, the president of Turkey acted to destroy the allies abandoned by Trump. These are the Kurdish fighters whom Erdogan of Turkey calls terrorists and wants dead.
Women fighters make up one third of all Kurdish resistance, numbering between 7,000 and 10,000 of the Kurdish forces fighting in Syria.
Women Protection Units (YPJ) is the female battalion fighting IS on the frontlines.
All the women fighters in the battalion are volunteers, who go into battle under the “Hava” (friendship) motto. (Syria: Kurdish Women Protection Units Wage Battle Against ISIS for Kobani)
A significant percentage of our Kurdish allies are women. One such force was established in northern Syria, known as Rojava. On the Sunday after Trump’s announcement, Turkish troops crossed their border into northern Syria near a small town held by a “U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force,” almost certainly with the intention of committing genocide against the Kurds.
I saw on television that Daesh is torturing women and it made my blood boil, said Vaysi, 32, who has a Kurdish flag painted on her cheek. I decided to go and fight them.
ISIS or ISIL, known to its enemies by the Arabic acronym Daesh, captures women and girls, imprisons them, violates them as sex slaves and kills them for minor ‘offenses.’
We will tear them apart. When they have killed our babies in the womb why should we show them mercy, said one female Kurdish fighter.
Yet Daesh is afraid of the women, believing that death at the hand of a female will send them straight to hell. In a landscape of barren towns and blood, the sound of women singing is heard before gunfire. Daesh prohibits song and the women want to rattle the minds of their enemies.
A 2014 Newsweek article delved into the female fighters and noted that their activism in a religious culture with embedded patriarchy is long-standing.
Since the 1970s, women have made up a significant proportion of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters and political involvement has been high.
“WE ARE THE WALL”
These are the Kurdish allies that Trump is abandoning – young women in their twenties and thirties, like you or your daughter or your niece. “We are the wall,” said one and, “we are ready to sacrifice ourselves to save humanity.”
These women are the wall against the bestial collection of killers known as ISIS or Daesh, the wall between their inhumanity and the world.
Trump will trample that wall and Erdogan wants to plow it under.
The 60 Minutes documentary below focuses on women fighters in northern Syria. Watch this documentary and ask yourself Why? and What happens to the women? and What happened to our humanity? And How long will we permit this literal war on women?
|FEATURE PHOTO: Kurdish female fighters of the Women Protection Unit (YPJ) attend military training near Qamishli city May 11, 2014. Massoud Mohammed/Reuters|