Ezidi Female Fighters Eager to Rescue Fellow Women Held By Isis
An all-female unit of Kurdish fighters are as brave and skillful as the male fighters when attacking the Islamic State (ISIS) militants as they want to save their fellow Ezidi women who have been trafficked to places far away in Syria.
Heldane, 20, is a member of the Sinjar Women's Units (YJS). She is proud of being able to use sniper rifles well.
She joined the YJS three years ago when she was only 17 years old, with the support of her family members.
Heldane said she wanted to liberate the Ezidi women who are suffering at the hands of the extremists.
"There were so many massacres targeting women and children [when the extremists invaded us three years ago]," she said.
The Ezidis, living in north of Iraq, are an ethnically Kurdish religious community or an ethno-religious group indigenous to northern Mesopotamia who are strictly endogamous. They live primarily in the Nineveh Province of Iraq.
According to the United Nations, more than 7,000 Yazidi women have been sold in the slave markets and nearly 5,000 men were slaughtered since the ISIS militants besieged the Yazidi minority in August 2014.
Felek, also 20, is from Germany. Instead of enjoying her peaceful life there, she came to arm herself with weapons in the YJS two years ago.
"No one came to help us. You saw the massacre, saw your mother and kids being killed. You couldn't just see them dying and do nothing," said Felek.
In order to rescue their fellow Ezidi women, the YJS came to the Syrian city of Raqqa in June. They have been fighting bravely to rescue thousands of trapped fellow Ezidi people from the misery.
Although over 50 percent of the Raqqa has been recaptured by the government army, there are still hundreds of Ezidi women and children who are still missing and waiting for liberation.
"Actually we don't like bloodshed. But every time the thought about those children and mothers would inspire us to fight," said Felek.