DUHOK, Kurdistan Region (K24) – On Monday, senior Peshmerga officials said a group of Syrian Kurdish women from Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) have recently joined its forces fighting against the Islamic state (IS) along the Mosul Dam front.
Speaking to K24, Subhi Batal, a Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga Colonel, part of a group of dissident Syrian Kurdish soldiers who fled the Syrian Army and have received training in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, said on Tuesday, "The Rojava Peshmerga forces have both male and female fighters. Recently, many women joined us to fight against Daesh [IS]."
"Some female brigades are ready as they joined Rojava Peshmerga about three years ago," Colonel Batal said, noting that these fighters took part in several battles alongside other Peshmerga forces in several different fronts.
Shilan, a female Rojava Peshmerga, told a K24 reporter on Monday near the Mosul Dam front, "Our aim is to defend ourselves and our lands in all parts of Greater Kurdistan [occupied lands in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran]. Borders mean nothing to me."
Shoresh, another female Rojava Peshmerga fighter opened her speech to a K24 reporter with a proverb many Kurds are familiar with, "A lion is a lion, regardless of whether it’s female or male. The mentality we grew up with is that there are no differences between men and women when it comes to defending the self and the home."
Regarding the number of Rojava Peshmerga fighters in the Kurdistan Region, Colonel Batal explains, "There are about six thousand Rojava Peshmerga [males and females], fighters deployed on the southern fronts [Mosul and Kirkuk] and the Iraq-Syria border crossing of Rabia, and there are about four thousand fighters not yet involved in the fighting, but they are fully ready."
"Regarding the number of female fighters, they are about 10 percent of the total number of the fighters. The majority of Syrian Kurdish women joined the YPJ [Women Protection Units] in Rojava."
"One of our duties is to fight Daesh [IS] in Rojava, but unfortunately, some political rifts between Syrian Kurdish political parties prevented us from taking part in the fighting," Batal said.
In 2011, Syrian Kurdish fighters who deserted the Syrian regimes' army after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war formed Rojava Peshmerga which received training and support from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).