According to female Kurdish soldiers at Syria's northeastern border, "ISIS is afraid of girls." Created three years ago, the Women's Protection Unit (YPJ) is considered crucial to the operations holding the terrorist group back in northern Syria. ISIS militants believe that if a woman kills them they will not go to heaven, the soldiers told CNN.
The YPJ is a branch of the People's Protection Units, a rebel militia fighting to protect the Kurdish people against ISIS militants, Bashar Assad's government and the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front.
The active and ongoing military success of the YPJ could hardly be more opposed to ISIS's forcibly "sedentary" idea of women's roles, as described in the 10,000-word manifesto released in Arabic earlier this year by a propaganda unit of the jihadist group, The Independent reported. Life as a woman under ISIS involves severe education restrictions and permits child marriage as "legitimate."
It is for this reason that Nujaan, 27, one of the female soldiers, said that ISIS's "target is women. It is a matter of honor to defend ourselves first, and then our families and lands," she explained to The Independent.
Over 7,000 women have taken up arms in this struggle, according to NBC. This means that the YPJ comprises over 20 percent of the Kurdish militia fighting the Islamic extremists. Most of the women are between the ages of 18-24, are unmarried and have dedicated their lives to the fight.