We’ll rise high like stars in the sky and be victorious over the ISIS-thugs and their accomplices, just like the sun against the darkness on the horizon… Guardians of the dignity and honor of the Kurdish people and the whole world; YPJ, (Women’s Defense Units)
In the battle against Islamic State, which seeks to oppress Muslim women under medieval Islamic law, one of the jihadists’ most active enemies are - perhaps appropriately - female members of the Kurdish peshmerga militia.
“We are a defense force. We developed a philosophy to defend our own people and country and we are acting on that philosophy. We are not an attack force, and we do not attack and kill anyone. In fact there are people from other ethnicities who see our practices and get to know and so they come an join us. There are not only Kurdish fighters with us. There is participation from Armenians, Arabs and other nationalities. In this sense we are also a force defending other ethnic and national groups. We know from history that every revolution that is able to defend itself ends in success. We too will succeed and our future will be one of freedom. ”
Award winning photojournalist Moises Saman spent time with Kurdish fighters and others after they reclaimed Sinjar, a former ISIS stronghold in Iraq. Saman was in Iraq with journalist Luke Mogelson for a report in The New Yorker on efforts to reclaim territory captured by ISIS.