Kurdish Syrians have been engaged in, sometimes fierce, fighting with extremist militants especially from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq and Levant terrorist group, who tried to seize Kurdish areas for a future state that they plan for.
The Kurd minority in Syria tried to stay away from the more than two-year foreign-backed insurgency in the Arab country, but since coming under attack by anti-Syria miltiants in the past few months, they started to gather strength and defend their hometowns.
While women haven’t been publicized as heavily involved in the Syria war, Buzzfeed has a new article detailing the Kurdish women who eagerly joined up, fighting against not only al-Qaeda dominance of Kurdistan, but the al-Qaeda ideology, in which women are second-class citizens.
Nojin is a 20-year-old fighter from northern Syria who has been a soldier since the country was erupted into war.
The fighting brought Nojin to a military post outside the city of Ras al-Ain, the last Kurdish checkpoint before area controlled by extremists.
Nojin, who declined to give her surname, said her motivation as a fighter was simple: “The freedom of our land.” But she also conceded another objective for facing down the al-Qaeda extremists, “When you fight against them the first thing you think about is the freedom of women.”
Syria’s Kurdish region is dominated by a political party, known by the acronym PYD, that stresses equality for men and women in both politics and war.
In the past few months, Kurdish militias, mostly the PYD, have routed al-Qaeda across their territory, ousting them from most of the region and declaring autonomy.
Syria has been gripped with a deadly insurgency since 2011 when pro-reform protests turned to an all-out war by infiltration of militants and terrorist groups from across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.