Meet ISIS’s Worst Nightmare: An All-Women Battalion of Kurdish Fighters

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Kurdish Peshmerga female fighters

As ISIS has swept across northern Iraq, they have become known for their atrocities towards women. For example, Yazidi women have been abducted by ISIS to become sex slaves for their fighters. However, here’s a group of women that aren’t preparing to flee ISIS but instead are preparing to meet them with their AK-47s.

Meet the 2nd Peshmerga Battalion, who are a battalion of Kurdish fighters – and they just happen to be an all-female battalion as well. They’re front line soldiers, some of whom have been fighting for years, and they’re eager to face ISIS.

According to ijreview, hundreds of mothers, sisters and daughters have taken up arms and devoted their lives to protecting Iraq’s Kurdish population against the threat of the Islamic State. Known as the women Peshmerga of the 2nd Battalion, the group is made up of 550 female fighters, whose commander is Col. Nahida Ahmad Rashid.

The soldiers have not yet faced the Islamic State since the terrorists seized control of towns in Kurdish regions, but the group has carried out in-depth exercises in the scorching heat of Sulaymaniyah to prepare themselves for battle.

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ISIS, which likes to deny women their basic rights, is going to have hell on its hands when it faces these women. It would be a great irony if ISIS met its defeat at the hands of these Kurdish women. Should ISIS try to stone these women to death, they just might wind up double-tapped.

An activist in the Kurdish women’s movement told the New York Times that “ISIL fears these women because they will not go to heaven, if they get killed by a woman.” Though Kurdish women have been engaging in armed struggle for decades, this attention was unthinkable until recently.

At the same time, critics have accused the Kurdish leadership of exploiting these women for PR purposes – in an attempt to win over western public opinion. While there may be an element of truth to such charges in some cases, those same critics fail to appreciate the different political cultures that exist among the Kurdish people as a whole, scattered across Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. They also ignore the fact that Kurdish women have been engaging in armed resistance for decades without anyone’s notice.