The YPJ (the women’s section of the Kurdish Protection Force, or YPG) is taking a lead role in the defence of the border city of Kobani and is forcing ISIS on to the defensive. ISIS fighters believe that if they are killed by a woman, then rather than go to heaven as a martyr and have 72 virgins to pleasure them they will go straight to hell: consequently on seeing a woman fighter they scram. Below is a brief report on YPJ activities.
The YPG is predominantly Kurdish, but also includes Arabs and Christians. It is a democratic force with decisions made by consensus. In July 2012 the YPG took control of Kobani, kicking out Assad’s forces. The YPG collaborates with the Free Syrian Army, which also opposes Assad. Recently YPG militia regained control of the city of Til Kocer, near Mosul. Currently the YPG is seeing off the ISIS attack against Kobani.
Some 7000 women (or around 35% of YPG) have joined up to the YPJ. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, leading the YPG force in the defence of Kobani against ISIS is a woman: Mayssa Abdo, also known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin.
YPJ militia avoid capture at all costs as any woman soldier taken by ISIS is mutilated, raped and then killed as a warning to others.