In the face of the deadly threat posed by the so-called Islamic State, many Kurdish women decide not to leave their survival to fate. Instead, they fight for their lives and their future. Taking up arms, they join the YPG – Kurdish People’s Protection Units that defend their town’s borders from the militants. The enemy fears female warriors. Jihadists believe if they are killed by a woman they will go straight to hell.
Female fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) take a break on the front line in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh.
Women’s Protection Units
The Women’s Protection Units or Women’s Defense Units (Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Jin) (YPJ) is a military organization that was set up in 2012 as the female brigade of the leftist
Since the beginning of November there have been dozens of terrorist attacks across the globe and whilst events in Paris ,Mali and the downing of the Egyptian aircraft dominated world headlines – the slaughter of the innocent has not ceased elsewhere and the death count is rising by the day.
November has thus far seen over 327 deaths (excluding approx. 25 terrorists) and almost 1000 injured in high profile attacks and we are only twenty two days into the month.
The vast majority of these attacks have been carried out by Islamic extremists , primarily Islamic State & Boko Haram and between them they are responsible for a staggering 80% of all victims ( Approx. 280 deaths and over 950 injured, including life changing injuries.
These figures do not take into account the countless innocent victims of the ongoing , multi player conflict that is tearing parts of Syria & Iraq apart and the genocidal philosophy of Islamic State and their ever shifting partners in their quest for a single Islamic Nation.
See below for full figures
But what has all this to do with religion and God , I hear you ask.
Not a lot in my opinion!
Growing up in loyalist West Belfast I was born into an environment were prejudice and mistrust of our catholic counterparts was engrained into the very foundations of our culture and traditions.
Until I was old enough to know better , I hated all Catholics with equal measure. In my childhood ignorance I assumed all Catholics were members of the IRA and other republican terrorist groups and I wished them all dead or at least “kicked ” down South were they rightly belonged.
In my world they were responsible for the savage conflict that was tearing Northern Ireland apart and they were drenched in the blood of innocent.
I hated them all with a passion
I grew up surrounded by loyalist paramilitaries and some of the most dangerous men that have ever walked the streets of the UK were my neighbours and members and associates of my wider family. Like the vast majority of the community I lived in my day to day life was governed by the men of violence and they both policed the local population and protected us from the IRA and other republican terrorists.
When news came through of the assassination of a republican or one of their supporters , I celebrated with the rest of the community and we mourned collectively when one of our own died whilst “fighting” for queen and country. Although in truth they were probably more likely to die as a result of the ever present internal feuds that littered the history of loyalist paramilitaries.
Although on the whole the local community supported and harboured the paramilitaries that lived and operated among us , universal support was never achieved and many in the loyalist community wanted nothing to do with the men of violence and their brutal tit for tat killings of innocent Catholics, each other and anyone else that got in their way.
But they were part of our daily lives and although we could ignore them and sometimes disagree with their methods, we were inextricable linked to them and sadly judge guilty through association.
But not all loyalists were blood thirsty psychopaths and despite the bad press the majority were law abiding citizens that wanted nothing more than to live in peace and make the best of what life threw at them.
In many ways the mainstream Muslim community of the UK & wider world are also being judge guilty through association , for the heinous crimes of IS and other Islamic extremists. Regardless of how may times we are reminded that Islam is a religion of peace , Islamic extremists mock this concept with their daily slaughter and all carried out in the name of Islam and the quest for a single Islamic state.
The fact of the matter is that Islamic State’s ideology is based on a version of Islam and the reported sayings of the prophet Muhammad . Their twisted interpretation of the Qur’an is wide open to misinterpretation and is fuelled by violent verses & the call for the death of all none believers and the establishment of a..err , an Islamic Sate.
Mainstream Muslim’s are quick to defend Islam and label all negative references to their religion as prejudice and racist. They are quick to protest if their faith is under attack and in our country that is their democratic right.
And yet they have done too little in public to express solidarity with the victims in Paris and others slaughtered in recent days in the name of Islam.
All British muslims are under the spotlight at the moment and the religion of islam is being dragged through the dirt by extremist and their twisted ideology. The Muslim community needs to stand up and be counted and show the rest of the UK that they stand with us against the merchants of death and hate.
They need to show us that mainstream Islam REALLY is a religion of peace and they need to route out the hate preachers and others in their communities that wish to bring death and destruction to the streets of the UK and mainland Europe.
Until then they may find themselves isolated and ostracized by large parts of the UK public and that is sadly a fact of life in the maelstrom of religious violence that is currently sweeping the globe and slaughtering the innocent.
Sulemain Shaheen rammed an Israeli border policeman on Highway 60 near Halhul. The policeman was critically injured and died on November 9th, the attacker was killed on the spot by other Israeli forces that were on the scene.
A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb Wednesday near the North Sinai Police Officers Club in the city of Al-Arish, killing three police conscripts and injuring 10 others, the Ministry of Interior said. Wilayah Sayna, an ISIL-affiliated organization claimed responsibility for the attack.
A suicide bomber attacked offices in Arsal where the Qalamoun Clerics Association was meeting. The association’s head, Sheikh Othman Mansour, was killed as well, along with four other people and the perpetrator.
Unknown gunmen shot two Israelis near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, leaving one with moderate wounds, allegedly with a sniper rifle from a neighborhood near the holy site. No group claimed responsibility.
Multiple bombs were set off across Baghdad in the Duwanim, Nahrawan, and Tarmiya areas. The blasts killed 9 and left 15 wounded. Three men were also found shot dead. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but ISIS is suspected.
Two suicide bombers, suspected to be sent by Boko Haram, have detonated themselves in a village on the shores of Lake Chad. 3 people were killed in the blast, including two kids and another 14 were wounded.
A bombing took place in a farmer’s market near a major road in Yola, Nigeria. Red Cross and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have reported 32 dead and 80 wounded. No group has claimed responsibility but Boko Haram is suspected. 
Two girls, aged 11 and 18, detonated themselves in a busy mobile phone market in Kano, Nigeria, killing at least 15 and injuring at least 123. Boko Haram is suspected. The attack is thought to have been revenge for an earlier call by the Emir of Kano, a traditional leader, for citizens to take up arms against the Islamist militants. 
Tziyon Saadon, a Jewish history teacher, was stabbed in the arm and leg by three men shouting praises for ISIS. The attackers also showed Mr. Saadon a picture of Mohammed Merah, a French-Algerian extremist who killed 7 people, including 4 Jews, in a crime spree in Southern France in 2012.
A Palestinian man opened fire on a line of traffic in Gush Etzion, in the West Bank region. The attacker then fled the scene, only to shoot at and intentionally ram into a group of pedestrians at a nearby junction. 
A roadside bomb planted near the mosque in Yousifiya went off as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers, killing two civilians and wounding nine. No group claimed responsibility but ISIS is suspected. 
A suicide bomber detonated himself in a suburb of the Cameroonian town of Fotokol near the border with Nigeria, killing four people. Several minutes after another three suicide bombers detonate themselves but did not kill anyone. Around ten people were injured. Boko Haram is suspected. 
Three rebels suspected to be from the Front 73 guerrilla unit of the New People’s Army attacked a compound of a pineapple plantation owned by Dole Philippines and burned a tractor, a bulldozer and a ‘Saddam’ truck of the company by using siphoned fuel from one of the vehicles. It was initially reported that three company guards were hurt in the incident but it was later said that no one was hurt.
“I came to the absolute conviction that it is impossible…impossible…for any human being to read the biography of Mohammed and believe in it, and then emerge a psychologically and mentally healthy person.”
The execution of Jihad John on Friday give the world something to celebrate and was a hard hitting reminder that although we don’t know exactly what action governments are taking against IS/Islamic extremists , we now know they are capable of a stunning PR strike that sent an evil, sick individual straight to eternal hell and will hopefully have all Jahadi’s scum terrified of their own shadows and of death coming at any moment from the skies.
The Terrorists are being Terrified!
But any joy the world shared at the termination of the evil, vile human was short lived when the streets of Paris were turned into a bloodbath , as the dark shadow of Islamic terrorism wrote another chapter in its endless book of horror.
To date one hundred and twenty nine people have died as a result of this act of terrorism and as the people of Paris begin to try to pick themselves up and comprehend how life can ever return to normal , the rest of the world look on and thank the gods that they had been spared.
For surely this is only a short reprieve and depressing as it is , there will no doubt be other chapters in the bloody rise of extremist Islamic Terrorism . Those deluded enough to follow such an evil, twisted ideology – that glorifies in the slaughter of the innocent and death to all none believers , have nothing else to live for and have committed themselves inextricably to a holy war that can never been won.
But how do you fight against such an enemy and can we ever hope to defeat the diseased ideology of IS and their Islamic caliphate
The Islamic State (Full Length)
Its times like this we all try to think about how we can beat those who seem intent not just on murdering innocent people but on attacking our very way of life. The bombing of the Russian plane and terrible events in Paris and Beirut demonstrate that the policy of trying to contain ISIS isn’t working. So here’s what I would do…
1. Accept this is a war, and act accordingly.
2. Invoke Article 5 of the NATO constitution and make every effort to include Russia in a coalition of interests with a single aim – to defeat ISIS militarily. It will mean parking the issue of Assad’s future.
3. Launch a total war on ISIS targets, initially through huge bombing campaigns, but also using ground forces from as many countries as possible, especially Arab ones.
4. Next week David Cameron should introduce an emergency motion in the House of Commons, which, if passed, would give parliamentary approval for military action in Syria alongside the US and France.
5. Drive a stake through ISIS’s heart by taking Raqqa by force in a surprise strike, using thousands of special forces and paratroopers.
6. Britain and other western countries should follow Austria’s lead and ban the foreign funding of mosques. This may mean having to ban foreign funding of all religious institutions, not just mosques. Immediately follow Tunisia’s lead and shut down any mosque linked to extremism. Ban mosques from employing Imams from Saudi Arabia.
7. Theresa May should massively increase the budget of the UK Border Force and immediately recruit several thousand new border guards. US style border checks should be introduced at key locations, but especially Calais and major airports.
8. The Prime Minister should announce an immediate 33% increase in the funding of the security services, giving them an extra billion pounds a year. This should primarily be used to increase surveillance of terror suspects.
9. Confront Saudi Arabia over its overt and covert support for ISIS and Wahabi extremism. If Saudi Arabia fails to act, impose sanctions and make arms sales to the country illegal.
10. Make London a very uncomfortable place for radical extremists and reverse its reputation as ‘Londonistan’.
11. Encourage muslim role models to go into schools and mosques to launch a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign and explain to muslim teenagers why extremism is wrong.
12. Confront head on the myth that western foreign policy and the invasion of Iraq led to the rise of ISIS.
13. Encourage the EU to abandon Schengen and lead moves to reimpose border controls between each EU country.
14. Build refugee camps along the North African coast. Handle asylum application within the camps. Impose high profile EU coordinated naval patrol along the North African coast and turn back the boats.
15. Develop comprehensive plan to deal with Syrian refugees who arrive from Turkey.
16. Develop a Marshall Plan to enable Syria to rebuild following the end of the conflict, and identify other countries which need a similar plan in order to persuade their citizens not to flee, and in the long term designed to persuade them to return.
I realise this is just scratching at the surface in some ways, but we have to recognise that the terms of the debate have changed. Talk of containing ISIS will no longer wash. They and their unique brand of evil needs to be confronted. In the 1930s we had, in the end, to recognise that the only way to beat Hitler was to stand up to him. We are in a similar position now. You can’t sit down and talk to these people. No amount of appeasement will work. Difficult decisions must now be taken in the full recognition that the world order has changed and that further loss of life will inevitably happen. Time will tell if the British people have the stomach for the fight or if we have the politicians who have the courage to impose the measures needed if we are to pull through.
In writing this, I also recognise I will be called a lot of things, no doubt primarily ‘warmonger’. I’ve said right from the start that ISIS need to be taken on and we are at war so at least I am consistent in that. Let’s have the debate and recognise that although there will be differences of view, the debate can at least be conducted in a civil manner. At least in this country we can still have an open debate, unlike in areas controlled by ISIS. Those who disagree with me will have to explain how they would protect the very freedoms that ISIS is seeking to take away from us.
The West Must Realize It Cannot Beat ISIS Without Also Beating Assa
Three hundred thousand dead, four million refugees, nearly eight million internally displaced, 600,000 trapped in starvation sieges and countless others maimed, traumatized and rotting in jails where torture, sexual abuse and starvation are routine. This is the partial bill, to date, for the political survival strategy of a Syrian clan headed by Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Recent reporting of diplomatic discussions about a potential role for Assad in a transitional unity government raises a pertinent question: can the person responsible for this horrific bill be re-packaged as the reliable overseer of security arrangements featuring civilian protection?
For a complete accounting of the consequences of Assad’s tenure, one must include the Islamic State: the criminal-terrorist marriage of al Qaeda in Iraq and Saddam Hussein loyalists that now occupies a major part of Syria courtesy of Assad regime illegitimacy and connivance. The result is a Syria bleeding terrified humanity onto its neighbors; a dying state hosting a deadly political virus spawning infections globally while attracting cells from around the Sunni Muslim world.
The response from the international community to the humanitarian and security catastrophe that is Syria has been wholly inadequate. President Obama seeks to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. Yet single-minded focus on achieving a nuclear agreement with Iran led the West to avert its gaze from the ISIS-abetting, civilian-centric depredations of an Assad regime fully supported by Tehran.
For ISIS, confronting Assad alone — an Assad supported by Iran and ideally the West — would be a recruiting gift of untold value.
Washington’s theory of the case had been that raising Syria with Iran — even in side talks well-removed from the nuclear main event — would provoke Tehran into abandoning the nuclear talks and forgoing a treasure in sanctions relief and foreign direct investment. Apparently, it never occurred to Iran’s Supreme Leader that the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the European Union would be offended in the least by his country’s facilitation of mass murder in Syria and by his support of a family whose actions had made nearly all of eastern Syria safe for ISIS.
While coalition aircraft chase ISIS gunmen with high performance aircraft, anti-regime and anti-ISIS rebels are subjected by the regime to barrel bombs and starvation sieges, creating recruits for ISIS in Syria and around the world. Simultaneously, Shia militiamen imported from Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan by Iran battle anti-regime and anti-ISIS Syrian rebels in the parts of western Syria Iran hopes to preserve as a bridge to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Meanwhile, American diplomats chase their Russian counterparts for help in terminating Assad rule: as if Moscow wants Assad gone or can make it happen.
Regime forces and ISIS rarely face one another in combat. Rather, they focus on trying to eliminate Syrian nationalist alternatives to each. Assad and his ISIS counterpart, “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, share the same objective: each, for his own reason, wants to face the other as one of the last two political forces left standing in Syria. For Assad, facing ISIS alone would be the dream come true: his long-sought opportunity to force the West to choose between him and something so spectacularly bad that some consider it even worse than him: the 21st century’s premier mass murderer. For Baghdadi, confronting Assad alone — an Assad supported by Iran and ideally the West — would be a recruiting gift of untold value. It would bolster his leadership credentials among disaffected Sunni Muslims around the world.
ISIS cannot be beaten from the air while the iron lung pumping oxygen into it — the Assad regime — is left to do its worst.
In Iraq, ISIS has a constituency: Iraqi Sunnis disenfranchised by the Iranian-supported sectarian policies of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In Syria, ISIS has no natural constituency. And Assad’s base has been reduced to members of Syria’s minorities and a handful of Sunni supporters, all of whom have been taken hostage by his war crimes and crimes against humanity; all of whom fear retribution for barrel bombs dropped, children starved and women raped. Syria — not Iraq — is the place where ISIS can be handed a decisive, near-term defeat. But it cannot be beaten from the air while the iron lung pumping oxygen into it — the Assad regime — is left to do its worst.
Legitimate governance — not war — is the ultimate cure for a Syrian illness rapidly becoming a regional and global contagion. Yet without an effective, surgical intervention of a kinetic variety, the patient has no hope of surviving. At its present, glacial rate of recruitment, vetting and training, the American enlistment of Syrian rebels to fight ISIS would meet its modest personnel goal perhaps by mid-century. What is needed now is professional ground forces to work with coalition aircraft to kill ISIS in Syria. With all of eastern Syria liberated from ISIS, a governmental alternative to the Assad family business can be established and a basis for eventual political negotiations created. And ISIS in Iraq would be denied a Syrian safe haven and headquarters of incalculable value.
Business as usual will give ISIS time to sink real roots in Syria, with disastrous consequences. Yet killing ISIS in Syria will not keep it dead and will not prevent something even worse from arising unless Assad’s mass atrocities stop. Iran could end them with an order. Can Western statesmen muster the courage to confront Tehran diplomatically on this point? Or will they continue to cower, fearful that Iran might yet walk away from a nuclear deal that would move its weaponization breakout period from two months to 15 years in return for lucrative compensation? Secretary of State John Kerry suggests talks with Iran on Syria may start once the nuclear deal is approved. Why wait? People are dying, and ISIS is benefiting.
Legitimate governance — not war — is the ultimate cure for a Syrian illness rapidly becoming a regional and global contagion.
Syrian political negotiations are impossible while these mass atrocities continue. Yet if Iran chooses to perpetuate its unconditional support for mass murder, a West actually intent on defeating ISIS while seeking a political transition from Assad rule to something civilized will have no choice but to push back. Indeed, if President Barack Obama can demonstrate his willingness and ability to stand up to Iran in the battle against ISIS, he might gain support in Congress for the nuclear deal.
If diplomacy fails, the worst of Assad’s atrocities — the barrel bombs — can be curtailed and even ended by military means far short of invading and occupying Syria. Iran should be given the opportunity to end these abominations with a word. Tehran should also be asked to lift the starvation sieges and permit full access to needy populations by the humanitarian agencies of the United Nations. It probably will not wish to do these things. Yet it should be given a time-limited opportunity to do so.
Pretending to make common cause with Iran against ISIS during the nuclear negotiations may have been someone’s idea of a smart negotiating tactic. In Iraq, however, Iran aids ISIS by promoting Shia militias instead of supporting the Iraqi government. In Syria, Iran’s client has created conditions permitting ISIS to thrive. Iran is no ally of the West in the fight against ISIS. Indeed, chasing ISIS with airplanes while giving a free rein to Assad is as much a losing proposition for the West as it is a sure winner for Iran. Western leaders fully realize that Assad and Baghdadi are two sides of the same debased coin. They should act accordingly if “degrading and defeating” ISIS is more than a slogan.
Islamic State threatens to carry out attacks in Russia ‘very soon’
ISIS Threatens to Attack Russia Very Soon
The Islamic State (ISIS), which has claimed responsibility for the crash of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, has released a video in which it threatens to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia. (more)
The Russian-language video was released on Thursday by the Al-Hayat Media Center, the foreign-language media division of the Islamic State, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring group.
“Soon, very soon, the blood will spill like an ocean,” the video said, threatening to carry out attacks within Russia. The video also featured gory scenes of executions by beheading and gunshot.
Other details were not immediately available.
The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the crash of a Russian passenger plane that went down in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on October 31, killing all 224 people on board. The group, which has released no specific details to back up its claims, said the downing was in revenge for Russian airstrikes against ISIS militants in Syria.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but investigators have not yet ruled out a bomb, though other possible causes include metal fatigue and a fuel explosion.
In the face of the deadly threat posed by the so-called Islamic State, many Kurdish women decide not to leave their survival to fate. Instead, they fight for their lives and their future. Taking up arms, they join the YPG – Kurdish People’s Protection Units that defend their town’s borders from the militants. The enemy fears female warriors. Jihadists believe if they are killed by a woman they will go straight to hell.
Women’s Protection Units
The Women’s Protection Units or Women’s Defense Units (Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Jin) (YPJ) is a military organization that was set up in 2012 as the female brigade of the leftist People’s Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, YPG) militia.The YPJ and YPG are the armed wing of a Kurdish coalition that has taken de facto control over much of Syria’s predominantly Kurdish north, Rojava.
The organization grew out of the Kurdish resistance movement, and as of late 2014 it had over 7,000 (or 10,000, according to TeleSUR) volunteer fighters between the ages of 18 and 40. They receive no funding from the international community and rely on the local communities for supplies and food.
The YPJ joined its brother organization, the YPG, in fighting against any groups that showed intentions of bringing the Syrian Civil War to Kurdish-inhabited areas. It has come under increased attacks from ISIL militants and was involved in the Siege of Kobanî.
The group played a critical role in rescuing the thousands of Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar by ISIL fighters in August 2014. One fighter said: “We need to control the area ourselves without depending on [the government]… They can’t protect us from [ISIL], we have to protect ourselves [and] we defend everyone … no matter what race or religion they are.
The group had been praised by feminists for “confront[ing] traditional gender expectations in the region” and “redefining the role of women in conflict in the region”. According to photographer Erin Trieb, “the YPJ is in itself a feminist movement, even if it is not their main mission”. She asserted that “they want ‘equality’ between women and men, and a part of why they joined was to develop and advance the perceptions about women in their culture”.
Various Kurdish media agency indicate that “YPJ troops have become vital in the battle against I.S.” in Kobanî.YPJ achievements in Rojava have attracted considerable international attention as a rare example of strong female achievement in a region in which women are heavily repressed.
On the frontline between Kurdish fighters and Islamic State militants, a group of young women have mobilised.
They have left their homes and dreams behind to fight on the frontline. The women say they felt compelled to join the battles with men in order to protect their land. They call themselves the women defenders, or the YPJ (pron: Yuh-pah-Juy); pro-Kurdish Yekineyen Parastina Jin
17-year-old Dilbreen says she signed up to help liberate the country.
“I joined YPJ voluntarily. I joined them to defend the Kurds, the Arabs, the Christians, and all nationals. I will defend my country and all those who are fighting for it,” explained Dilbreen.
The women feel no different from the men fighters. However they believe that while men rely more on their physical strength, they use cunning, stealth and patience to get results.
One YPJ commander, Çiçek told euronews: “The male fighter fights physically, while the woman fights with her mind. The woman knows when to use weapons, and naturally she is a hater of war violence. However, we are forced to defend ourselves. We were raised on such thoughts.”
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Popular Protection Units (YPG) have seen their numbers swell of late with new recruits coming from Europe, Australia and the United States to join the battle.
Captured, sold, raped: ISIS turns thousands of Christian women and children into sex slaves
Canadian Joins Kurdish women fighting
VANCOUVER — The city was out enjoying an overcast Saturday afternoon of grocery shopping on Davie Street, biking the Stanley Park Seawall and just staring at the freighters out in English Bay. But Hanna Bohman was thinking about leaving town.
It had been almost two months since she’d said goodbye to Syria, where she volunteered with the Kurdish women’s army known as the YPJ. And she was wondering: should she go back? “I’m thinking about it,” she said in an interview at a West End coffee shop. “I’m thinking about it a lot.”
Hanna BohmanHeavy metal-loving Heval Rosa, 19, and 22-year-old, Heval Azidan, who was Hanna Bohman’s best friend.
Pulling her back to the war zone were the “girls” — the female Kurdish guerillas she befriended during her months in Rojava, the independent state they are fighting to establish in northern Syria.
Girls like Heval Rosa.
In a video on Bohman’s tablet, Rosa sat on the tailgate of a pickup truck holding her grenade launcher. “She likes heavy metal,” recalled Bohman. “She asked me, ‘Do you have any heavy metal?’” Seeing the camera trained on her, Rosa stuck out her tongue.
Another video showed half-a-dozen women in camouflage sitting on a floor mat in an abandoned house playing a game, laughing like it was a sleepover. And then there was the video of the uniformed YPJ fighter who insisted that Bohman take her jacket because there was a cold wind.
The conflict in Syria has been hard on women. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has systematically raped them, sold them, traded them and enslaved them. Women have been forced to convert and cover themselves. They’ve been lured from Western countries to serve as comfort wives for lonely killers. But as Bohman found out, the women are fighting back.
The Women’s Defense Unit, or YPJ, was created three years ago and consists of some 7,500 Kurdish fighters. It is the women’s branch of a militia called the YPG, or People’s Protection Units. By decree, 40% of the spots in each YPG fighting unit are filled by women.
“The women fight just as much as the men,” said Bohman, 46, who is also known by her online alias, Tiger Sun. “I think the YPJ girls, they’re the real heroes because they’re not just fighting ISIL, they’re fighting for women’s rights.”
Hanna BohmanSeventeen-year-old Heval Canda was in charge of the fighters on duty. It was her job to pick who lived or died that day.
One of a handful of Canadians who have fought alongside Kurdish forces, Bohman was born in Zambia to Canadian parents. She returned to Canada when she was still a toddler and grew up with humanitarian ambitions, dreaming of flying aid missions in Africa.
Instead she worked a variety of jobs — sales, the oil fields, a horseracing track — until a workplace injury followed by a car accident made her rethink what she really wanted. “I realized I’d been spending too much of my time doing things I didn’t want to do,” she said.
She didn’t know much about the Kurdish people but she was familiar with ISIL and she thought, if Canadians were fighting for the extremist cause, why couldn’t she fight for the other side? After making contact with the YPJ through Facebook, she broke the news to her family. “I told my mother and a couple of friends,” she said. “I was really excited to get going.”
Hanna BohmanTeam commander Heval Arjin, 19, who gave Hanna Bohman her first grenades, playing a game with improvised cards.
But as she was leaving Qatar, next stop northern Iraq, she got nervous. She was trusting her life to people she didn’t know, at a time jihadists had discovered the profitability and shock value of kidnapping. The plane landed in Sulaymaniyah and she crossed a river at night to a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camp. The setting reminded her of B.C.’s Okanagan. Nine other Westerners were there — from Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.
She had been told there would be 45 days of training, but by the time she got there they had reduced it to 15 days, and then five. It ended up consisting of five hours of firearms instruction, “everything I could have learned on YouTube,” she said.
Initially, she was assigned to a base where she dug ditches and took shifts on guard duty. The Shingal Mountains of Iraq were just across the border and the biggest threat was ISIL suicide trucks. From there, she moved closer to the action, joining a mobile fighting unit. They would capture a village, hold it and move on. “Most of the time (ISIL) would run away but sometimes they’d put up a fight and we’d just kill them off,” she said. Bohman said she never killed anyone herself.
The YPJ girls she met were young — 17, 18 and 19. Many were poorly educated, some had run away from forced marriages. She described them as a “peasant militia.” During downtime, they played volleyball, danced and sang nationalistic songs, she said. They seemed keenly aware they were fighting for women’s rights.
“As we say, the revolution of Rojava is a women’s revolution,” Feleknas Uca, a Turkish Member of Parliament who is also Kurdish and Yazidi, said in an interview at the Toronto Kurdish Community Centre. She said the YPJ was avenging ISIL’s treatment of women and joked that ISIL fighters were terrified of the sight of red shoes and makeup. “They are very afraid of women because they believe if they die by women they will not go to heaven.”
Hanna BohmanHeval Nujian, 22, told Hanna Bohman that she always smiled because it helps others feel better.
In contrast to ISIL’s misogyny the YPJ manifesto speaks optimistically about “gender freedom” and “struggling at all levels with an awareness of the idea of legitimate defense in the face of various forms of attacks against women.”
In June, Bohman rode with the Kurdish fighters as they captured the town of Tal Abyad. She was crossing a damaged bridge when she jumped and her legs buckled. She had lost so much muscle eating a diet of canned sardines and cucumber, she knew it was time to go home. “I didn’t want anyone getting hurt because I couldn’t carry my weight,” she said. “It was the safest thing for everybody.”
Nobody batted an eye when she got to Montreal airport, she said. “All they said to me was welcome home.” Two weeks later, however, a Canadian Security Intelligence Service officer tracked her down and they met for lunch, she said.
“I asked her why it took them so long to contact me and she said, ‘Well, we didn’t know you went,’” Bohman said. The CSIS officer did not seem concerned about Bohman’s encounters with the PKK. She only seemed interested in Canadians who had joined ISIL, Bohman said. “She wasn’t worried about me.”
Hanna BohmanHeval Silav taught herself how to speak, read, and write English, Arabic, and Kurdish, despite only being allowed to attend school for one year.
The Kurdish conflict has worsened since she left. A ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK collapsed and there have been several deadly skirmishes. Last month, a suspected ISIL suicide bomber killed 32 youths in Suruc, a Kurdish town in Turkey.
Bohman put her uniform back on for an Aug. 6 protest at the U.S. consulate in Vancouver after Turkey launched airstrikes on some of the PKK camps she had visited in Iraq. But she was undecided about going back to Syria.
A new travel zone ban proposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper may complicate matters. Although those fighting against ISIL are said to be exempted, it was unclear how the law would impact those like Bohman who rubbed shoulders with the PKK, a terrorist group under Canadian law.
“Should Sun be motivated enough by the Turkish offensive against the Kurds to return to fight with the YPG, she could suddenly find herself on the other side of Harper’s proposed travel ban law,” journalist and former infantryman Scott Taylor wrote in Esprit de Corps.
Bohman was well-aware of the problems she could face should she return. “What am I going to do that’s going to make me feel as useful and worthwhile?” she asked. “I’m not doing anything better here in Canada.”
20-year-old Danish Coed Joins Kobane Angels to Fight ISIS
A Danish woman has become the latest Westerner to travel to the besieged Syrian city of Kobane and join Kurdish forces bravely battling Islamic State militants.
Her name is Joanna Palani and she is a 20-year-old of Kurdish descent. Joanna is understood to have written a message on her Facebook page describing a minor foot injury she picked up during a ‘hard’ attack on the jihadist.
Minutes earlier she had updated the page with a photograph of herself calmly smiling while wearing military fatigues, a bullet proof vest and carrying a large assault rifle – threatening ISIS militants with the words: ‘See you on the front line tomorrow’.
Ms. Palani has become the latest Westerner to join the fight against ISIS in Kobane, where Syrian Kurds assisted by Iraqi Peshmerga troops and US and Arab coalition warplanes have managed to force hundreds of militants out of the center of the city.
Ms. Palani is the latest Westerner to join the fight against ISIS in Kobane (pictured), where Syrian Kurds assisted by Iraqi Peshmerga troops and US warplanes have forced hundreds of militants out the city center
Details of Ms. Palani’s journey to fight ISIS in Syria were reported by the Danish newspaper BT.
Less than a month ago she had made a gave an interview to Politiken saying that she was dropping out mid-way through her college course and intended to join the fight against ISIS in Kobane.
It is likely Ms. Palani, who has lived in Denmark since she was three-years-old, has joined the KurdishYPJ regiment – the all-female force of the better known YPG (People’s Protection Unit). Both groups are affiliated with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), which has been designated a terror
group by NATO, but Ms. Palani makes it clear that she does not agree with this assessment. The US has since removed the Kurds from the terrorist list and is now training and arming them.
‘The Kurds are fighting for democracy and Western values,’ she was quoted as saying.
‘If I get captured or killed, I will be proud of why I was killed. If I was afraid of the consequences of going down there, I would not consider it,’ she reportedly added.
In her earlier interview with Politiken before she left for Syria, Ms. Palani said she would do exactly the same thing had Denmark come under attack by Islamic extremists.
‘I love Denmark. I grew up here and I love the freedom of our society. If Denmark should ever be attacked, I’m going to go in the front row with a Danish flag around my shoulders,’ she was quoted as saying.’But I’ve Kurdish family, and right now it is the Kurds who are attacked by brainwashed Islamists,’ she added. She is far from the first Westerner to join the Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in Kobane.
There have been numerous other reports from Kobane of Westerners travelling taking up arms against the militants – including claims that a number of European biker gangs had ridden to Syria and are helping to assist the resistance.
One of the greatest fears that ISIS fighters have is to be captured or killed by Kobane Female Fighters. Would Allah allow them access to their “virgins” when it was a women who took them out? It is up to “Allah” I guess, said one fighter! This morning Kurdish fighters captured six buildings from ISIS near Kobane and seized a large haul of their weapons and ammunition, a group monitoring the war said.
The terror group has been desperately trying to capture the town for more than two months in an assault that has driven tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians over the border into Turkey.
The six buildings seized by Kurdish fighters this morning were in a strategic location in the town’s north, close to Security Square where the main municipal offices are based, said Rami Abdurrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
His group that tracks the three-year-old conflict in Syria using sources on the ground.
The Kurds also took a large quantity of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, guns and machine gun ammunition.
The clashes killed around 13 Islamic State militants, including two senior fighters who had been helping to lead the militant group’s assault on the town, he said.
Kurdish forces appear to have made other gains in recent days of fighting.
Last week they blocked a road Islamic State was using to resupply its forces, the first major gain against the jihadists after weeks of violence.
‘During the last few days we have made big progress in the east and southeast,’ said Idris Nassan, an official in Kobane.
Nevertheless, Islamic State still appeared to be holding a significant grip on the town. Abdurrahman estimated it controlled more than 50 percent of the city.
Whilst we go about our daily lives hundreds of innocent people are being brutally killed throughout Syria. Needless to say I won’t mourn the death of any member of IS or other extremist group , but there are many innocent people being killed for their perceived homosexuality, religion/political beliefs , trivial insults to Allah and countless other “crimes” that carry the ultimate sentence – Summary executions
The main cause of the slaughter is IS and other extremist groups , whom have created a living hell in the Middle East.
When will the world wake up and do something decisive to rid the world of all Islamic Extremist and eradicate their twisted, psychopathic Islamic ideology?
Regardless of who started this war ( and their are many guilty parties) its time to get troops on the ground and teach IS a lesson that will result in their total annihilation and complete obliteration.
The Dead :
23 civilians, 22 rebels,
14 Non-Syrian Islamic fighters,
16 Regular forces,
8 unknown rebels,
19 non-Syrian militants allied to regime forces.
— IS executed a young man and a child in the charge of homosexual in al-Ashara town in the eastern countryside of Der-Ezzor.
— IS executed a man in al-Hasakah countryside for ” insulting the name of Allah” .
— 3 IS were killed by clashes against YPG in Abdulaziz mount, Hasakah countryside.
— 12 Osbek and Turkistan militants were killed by clashes against regime forces in al-Mansoura in al-Ghab valley.
– 11 Unknown rebels killed by clashes against regime forces, bombardment, and targeting their checkpoints .
– 27 National Defense Forces militiamen were killed by clashes and attacks on their checkpoints around Syria.
– 16 Regular forces were killed by clashes, snipers, IEDs, and attacks on their checkpoints and vehicles.
– 14 Non-Syrian fighters from ISIS, Jund Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra were killed by clashes and targeted
— 19 non-Syrian militants allied to regime forces killed by clashes against rebels.
— 8 Hezbollah were killed by clashes against rebels
Bethnal Green Academy pupils Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, travelled to Istanbul in February after telling their parents they were going out for the day. Police believe they have crossed the border into Syria. Mobile phone footage released to the media shows this was with the help of a people smuggler who is alleged to have worked for Canadian intelligence. The three girls had been studying for their GCSEs at the school in Tower Hamlets – where they have been described as “straight-A students”. They followed in the footsteps of their school friend, Sharmeena Begum who the Metropolitan Police say left
The three girls had been questioned by the police in December 2014 after another girl from their school travelled to Syria, but were found not to be at risk. They flew via Turkish Airlines from Gatwick Airport to Istanbul on 17 February. Their families went to Turkey in March to probe the disappearance, deeming the police investigation inadequate.
Their disappearance has been attributed to Aqsa Mahmood, a Glasgow woman who joined ISIL in 2013. There have been electronic communications between the girls and Mahmood. She faces criminal charges if she returns. Mahmood denies the allegations.
In March 2015, footage was circulated of Abase Hussen, father of Amira Abase, on a 2012 rally led by Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary against the film Innocence of Muslims. The Metropolitan Police examined the footage but said that it was unlikely that offences had been committed. Hussen said in April that he feels ashamed of his involvement in the rally, as he did not know who had organised it.
The girls stole family jewellery to pay for their flight. They will not face criminal charges if they return to the United Kingdom.
The disappearance resulted in the Metropolitan Police giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons on its circumstances in March 2015. The families of the girls received an apology from Scotland Yard, who did not tell them about the other girl from their school who went to Syria in 2014.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that police should not be made “scapegoats” for people joining ISIL. Contrary to the stance of the Metropolitan Police, Cameron said “Whoever has gone out to join a terrorist organisation is breaking the law and has to face the consequences of breaking the law and we have to let the law take its course in the proper way”.
In March 2015, a travel ban was imposed upon five girls from the Bethnal Green Academy due to concerns from social services that they would join ISIL. The girls’ identities were kept secret, but the Press Association won a challenge at the High Court to be able to disclose that the girls attend the same school as the three who had already joined the group, stating that it was in the public interest.
In a picture that looks like it could have been lifted from a family photo album, mother Sally Jones and her partner cradle her new-born son.
‘LOL @ England’:
British jihadi Sally-Anne Jones appears to mock Cameron on Twitter after being placed on UK’s most wanted list of ISIS fanatics and hit with travel ban
The Twitter account has now been closed down
The new image shows Muslim convert Jones, 45 – who spent a lifetime on benefits – looking lovingly into the camera as she holds her baby boy, just hours after he was born on December 19, 2004.
But ten years later the mother-of-two fled from Britain to Syria to join bloodthirsty ISIS militants.
Jones, from Chatham in Kent, also known as ‘Mrs Terror’, was one of four Britons suspected of leading recruitment drives and plotting terrorist attacks against the UK and elsewhere added to a United Nations list.
The other three are Omar Hussain from High Wycombe, Nasser Muthana from Cardiff and Aqsa Mahmood from Glasgow.
The Women of ISIS
Back in the UK She played in a punk band back in Britain called Krunch. Now Sally Ann Jones is looking to raise holy hell online for the Islamic State.
A navel-baring British punk rocker turned Islamic State widow she is now aiming for a leadership role in the terror group’s cadre of hackers and online recruiters, United States officials believe.
Should she succeed, Sally Ann Jones, 45, would become ISIS’s most public European national to openly threaten U.S. and U.K. networks. She also would likely become the most influential woman in the so-called Islamic State, widely known as ISIS, transforming her into a key operational figure.
The channel said he regularly visited the compound where she was being held and repeatedly assaulted her.
Officials said they had obtained information about the abuse from at least two teenage Yazidi girls who were held hostage as sex slaves and found inside the Sayyaf compound at the time of the US attack.
Mueller was reportedly held for some time by Sayyaf and his wife, Umm Sayyaf, who was also captured by US special forces in May.
At the time, the Pentagon said Umm was suspected of being an IS member and of being complicit in the enslavement of a young Yazidi woman who was rescued in the raid.
Hundreds of young women and girls – many of them Yazidis captured in northern Iraq – are believed to be held as sex slaves by IS militants in areas under their control.
The Yazidi girls provided intelligence used by the US to interrogate Sayyaf’s wife, who “spilled everything” about several IS leaders and their whereabouts, a counterterrorism official told ABC.
Umm Sayyaf was handed over to the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq last week to face trial.
The information that has come to light appears to contradict speculation that Mueller was treated well in captivity, as a letter written in 2014 and smuggled out to her family implied.
In it, Mueller tried to reassure her family, saying that she had been treated with “utmost respect + kindness”.
The humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, travelled to the Turkey-Syria border in 2012 to work with refugees.
Kayla Mueller’s letter from captivity before her death
Kayla Mueller’s family have released a letter sent by the IS hostage before her death in what the jihadist group says was a coalition air strike in Syria.
Everyone,if you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact you +send you this letter.
It’s hard to know what to say.
Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness.
I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn’t know if my cell mates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears.
If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness.
I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God.
I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else…. + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.
I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful.
I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another…
I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation. I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport.
I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life.
The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support.
I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden.
I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, [REDACTED] can contact [REDACTED] who may have a certain level of experience with these people.
None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me.
I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes.
I wrote a song some months ago that says “The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left…” aka ‐ the thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength.
Please be patient, give your pain to God.
I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing.
Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.
Media had long reported that a 26-year-old American aid worker was being held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) without naming her at her family’s request. Her captivity and death were widely reported upon confirmation of her death.
Food For Life Vrindavan, a local branch of Food For Life, which provides free food, education, and medical care for those in need in the region, for whom she taught English and kindergarten students.
Just Peace, a social justice project of United Campus Ministries at Northern Arizona University, with whom she went on a humanitarian aid trip to Guatemala and with whom she advocated against torture and Guantanamo Bay.
Prescott Area Women’s Shelter, where she worked during the nights to help meet the needs of homeless women, children, and families.
Save Darfur Coalition, with whom she volunteered for three years, for whom she conducted multiple letter-writing campaigns and led two silent walks.
STAND, for whom she served as the President of STAND:NAU, a local chapter at Northern Arizona University, as well as the Southwest Regional Outreach Coordinator of the parent organization.
Support to Life, an international aid organization, for whom she worked to help Syrian refugees in Turkey
Tibetan Hope Center, an organization that helps Tibetanrefugees to gain life skills to live independently in India, for whom she taught English and compiled a monthly newsletter.
Youth Count, where she volunteered in Prescott, Arizona participating in multiple environmental and inter-generational projects.
Capture and death
Mueller started working in southern Turkey in December 2012, where she was assisting Syrian refugees. On August 3, 2013, she drove to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo with a coworker/friend who was traveling to the Spanish Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Aleppo to work for a day. She worked with international aid agency Support to Life. On her departure from Aleppo to return to Turkey, militants abducted her.
According to anonymous sources of American reporter Catherine Herridge, the location of Mueller and other American hostages was known by the White House in May 2014, but a decision on a rescue mission was not made for seven weeks. By that time, the hostages had been dispersed.
A media account affiliated with ISIS released a statement on February 6, 2015 claiming that a female American hostage held by the group was killed by one of around a dozen Jordanian airstrikes in ar-Raqqah, Syria. The statement came just days after the release of a video showing the burning of Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh by the militant group and the subsequent execution of Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi and other prisoners of Jordan. The statement was later translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, identifying the hostage as Mueller.
Mueller had been in ISIS custody for 18 months. A US mission to rescue her and several others in northern Syria in July 2014 failed when ISIS moved the prisoners. The US was unaware of her location since, though her family was told negotiations were underway to swap her for Aafia Siddiqui, according to Arizona House Representative Paul Gosar.ABC News and CBS News reported that sources in the intelligence community believe Mueller may have been “given over” to an ISIS commander in a “forced marriage” and the group did not view her as a bargainable hostage. In a letter to her family, she spoke of being healthy, well-fed and treated with the utmost kindness and respect in a safe place. ISIS members corresponding with the Muellers referred to Kayla as their “guest”.
On February 6, 2015, ISIS published a photo of a damaged building, named Mueller and her home town and alleged she had been killed in a Jordanian airstrike in the building where she was left alone with no guards, but no proof of death was provided. The Pentagon agreed the building was one hit in the bombings, but disputed that Mueller, or any civilian, was inside. The site had been bombed by the coalition twice before, and was targeted again because ISIS soldiers sometimes return to bombed sites, thinking the coalition won’t return, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. After this, Mueller’s name was released by American and other media with the family’s consent.[not in citation given]
On February 10, 2015, Mueller’s family announced ISIS had confirmed her death to them in an e-mail, with three photographs of her dead body, bruised on the face and wearing a black hijab.National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said this message was authenticated by the intelligence community. President Barack Obama offered his condolences to Mueller’s family.
Mueller’s parents reportedly implored ISIS to contact them as they hoped their daughter may still be alive. “We have sent you a private message and ask that you respond to us privately”, Carl and Marsha Mueller said in a statement. They said they had not talked to the media as ISIS warned them not to.
An American official cautioned that without proof of Mueller’s death, the statement by ISIS could be a ploy to cause the Jordanians and the rest of the American-led coalition to refrain from any heavier airstrikes.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh called ISIS’s claim “an old and sick trick” on Twitter. “So they behead innocent #US #UK & Japan hostages & BURN a brave #Jordan pilot ALIVE & now a hostage is killed by an airstrike? Sure! Sick!”, he said. He further tweeted: “An old and sick trick used by terrorists and despots for decades: claiming that hostages human shields held captive are killed by air raids.” Later upon confirmation of Mueller’s death he tweeted: “Saddened & angered to hear news confirming killing of #US hostage #kaylaMueller. Yet another ugly example of these terrorists’ brutality.”
After many Western news outlets cast doubt on the claim of the hostage death and the extremists’ ability to identify Jordanian and U.S. made F-16s flying at high altitudes, Jordan dismissed the claim of a killed hostage as an ISIS publicity stunt and a lie, as the group is known for its propaganda techniques.
After Mueller’s family confirmed her death, President Obama said “[Mueller] represents what is best about America, and expressed her deep pride in the freedoms that we Americans enjoy, and that so many others strive for around the world.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement saying “ISIL, and ISIL alone, is the reason Kayla is gone.”
The Pentagon declined to investigate whether Mueller was killed by the coalition airstrike. Policy dictates the US only investigates reports of civilian casualties when they come from a “credible source”, which ISIS is not.
Time magazine named Kayla Mueller as an ideal role model for Millennials, citing her selfless desire to end suffering, her activism, and her humanitarian aid work, praising her desire not to be seen, but to genuinely help people, and lauding her possession of Millennials’ positive good qualities of idealism, optimism, and love of families without troublesome qualities also associated with the Millennial generation.
On February 23, 2015 the Mueller family was interviewed on The Today Show by Savannah Guthrie. Carl Mueller expressed his frustration with the Obama administration over the way it conducted negotiations with their daughter’s captors and their policy of not paying ransom money for hostages. “We understand the policy about not paying ransom, but on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home,” Carl Mueller said. “And we tried, and we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens’ lives. And it didn’t get it changed.”