BY Video; A Look inside Kobani after 2 Month Resistance against ISIS

Thu Dec 4, 2014 16:41:12

Calling one another "heval," Kurdish for 'comrade,' the men and women in Kobani fight with revolutionary conviction, vowing to liberate what they regard as Kurdish land from ISIS group militants.

Amid the wasteland and destroyed buildings, a sense of camaraderie has developed among the town's defenders who have doggedly fought off militant advances for more than two months.

Often, members of the same family can be found on the front lines. Nineteen-year-old Shida's father was a fighter before her.

After he was killed, she gave up hopes of becoming an artist and decided she must follow in his footsteps to honour his example.

She says her mother supports her decision. One of her six brothers is also fighting, the rest of her siblings are living in Turkey. "I will never leave the party. I will not allow the enemy to take away my land and its soil. I will not leave my land," she said.

An exclusive report shot by videojournalist Jake Simkin who spent a week inside Kobani late last month offered a rare, in-depth glimpse of the men and women fighting to expel the extremists from Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish town in northern Syria by the Turkish border.

Backed by small numbers of Iraqi peshmerga forces, the Kurdish fighters, whose political founders espouse a firm left-wing ideology, are locked in fierce battles to push back militants of the so-called “Islamic State” group, which swept into the town in mid-September.

In a surprising display of resilience, the Kurdish fighters have held out against the more experienced terrorists more than two months into the militants' offensive on the frontier town, hanging on to their territory against all expectations.

A Kurdish sniper, nicknamed Zinar, Kurdish for "The Rock," said: "We are fighting for freedom. Freedom isn't something you can easily get or something that someone just gives to you. Freedom is only achieved when you go out and get it yourself."

The fighting has often been intense. “IS” suicide truck bombers and US-led coalition airstrikes have helped turn much of the city centre front lines to rubble.

The leader of the women fighters is 21-year-old Medea 'Raqqa'. Women make up around a quarter of the Kurdish forces and Medea explains how their presence has unsettled the militants opposing them."They (IS fighters) get scared when they hear our voices," she claims. "There is a popular saying amongst them that anyone killed by a woman cannot enter heaven."

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