I’ve been monitoring the situation in Kobane, Syria all weekend and reports about the fierce street fighting between the Kurdish PKK and ISIS fighters have been indicating the PKK are making gains. There’s good news this morning via NPR:
The besieged city of Kobani, Syria, has seen an increase in air strikes and fighting, with Kurdish fighters in the area saying they’ve stopped the extremist group ISIS from advancing. As the U.S.-led coalition carried out strikes on areas east and south of Kobani, new reports emerged about Turkey’s role in supporting the fight against ISIS.
U.S. officials said this weekend that Turkey had agreed to let the coalition use its bases to strike ISIS. But on Monday, a Turkish official tells the AP that “there is no new agreement with the United States on using an air base in southern Turkey,” the news agency says.
Today, Kurdish fighters who are trying to defend the city of Kobani are saying they’ve made advances against ISIS, a claim that was echoed by a monitoring group. U.N. officials have warned of a potential massacre if the city falls.
The International Business Times estimates the number of ISIS jihadists attacking the town for the past month with tanks and heavy artillery is 9,000 in “the largest manned assault by Isis in its short existence.”
On the Kurdish side are 2,000 out-gunned fighters with the YPG, the armed wing of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), “without access to any heavy weaponry and short on ammunition.”
The Marxist PKK has been designated by the State Department as a terrorist group which I suspect is why we’re not arming them as they fight for independence from our “ally” Turkey.
ABC reports that Kurdish woman are leading the battle against ISIS in Kobane.
The Observatory said a Kurdish woman fighter is leading the battle against IS jihadists in Kobane, a monitoring group and activists said Sunday.
“Mayssa Abdo, known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin, is commanding the YPG in Kobane along with Mahmud Barkhodan,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
As is the custom for Kurdish fighters, Mayssa, 40, uses a pseudonym. Hers comes from the Afrin region where she was born that is located, like Kobane, in Aleppo province.
Via IBT, the YPG is the all-female, independent militia which embrace arms along with their male comrades of the People’s Protection Units. Just the sight of them inflict terror on their ISIS enemies because the jihadists believe that if they’re killed by woman soldiers they won’t go to heaven.
Women fighters make up one third of all #Kurdish resistance, numbering between 7,000 and 10,000 of the Kurdish forces fighting in Syria.
As urban guerrilla warfare starts on the streets of Kobani, on the Turkish-Syrian border, Kurdish resistance is increasingly relying on its female fighters to save the town on what appears to be a desperate fight for survival.
The female Kurdish fighters are feared by Islamic State militants, who believe that they’ll go straight to hell if they are killed by a woman. A women fighter explained “This is not a myth but reality. I personally met IS fighters face-to-face. Women fighters infringe on their psyche. They believe they won’t go to paradise if they are killed by women. That is why they flee when they see women. I saw that personally at the Celaga front. We monitor theirradio calls. When they hear a woman’s voice on the air, they become hysterical.”
The suicide attack of a Kurdish female fighter, Dilar Gencxemis, known by her nom de guerre Arin Mirkan who blew herself up in Kobani, killing several Islamic State militants has put the spotlight on the Yekineyen Parastina Jin or Women Protection Units (YPJ) 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. Rosarine, one of the women fighters, explained that she and her ‘sisters in arms’ get full support and encouragement from their families as they’re fighting to protect the Kurdish land and its people.
This recent report via Mirova News on the Kurdish female warriors fighting ISIS is fascinating and well worth your time.