When 19-year-old Dilar and her girlfriends learned last spring that a woman who taught at a local school had died fighting Islamic State, they made a pact: They would join an all-female Syrian Kurdish brigade named in the teacher’s honor.
“When I walk with my gun, the men who haven’t volunteered keep their eyes down around me. My bravery shames them.”
Her unit, the Martyr Warsin Brigade, saw action this summer in a tough battle against the extremist fighters for Ras al-Ayn, a town along the Turkish border. Dilar came away without injury and returned home to a hero’s welcome.
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Now, during her downtime, she and her female comrades stride with a swagger through their villages east of the embattled city of Kobani.
Caskets holding the bodies of four female Kurdish fighters are carried from a hospital in Suruc, Turkey, to…
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