Why These Women Scare ISIS

December 15th 2015

There's at least one group that isn't afraid of the Islamic State (also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh): the female fighters in the Kurdish People's Protective Units' all-female military faction.

The Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), which has thousands of volunteer soldiers and makes up around one fifth of this Kurdish militia, was formed in 2012 to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, and ISIS.

In the video compiled by Insider below, one of the female fighters told CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedelman that members of the Islamic State are terrified of the prospect of being killed by a woman, because it would bar them from entrance into heaven and having access to 72 virgins as promised in Koranic verses.

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"[IS thinks] they’re fighting in the name of Islam, and they believe if someone from Daesh is killed by a girl, a Kurdish girl, they won’t go to heaven," the female fighter told CNN's Wedelman. "So they’re afraid of girls."


Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the U.S. House International Relations Committee chair, made similar comments to the New York Post last year.

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"These ISIL soldiers apparently believed that if they were killed in battle, they went to paradise as long as they were killed by a man," he said, adding that he'd heard reports of Kurdish female fighters laughing as they fought the terrorist group. "And these female soldiers were communicating their satisfaction with the fact that they had taken the fight to ISIL and had stopped the advance, turned back the advance - slayed a number of these fighters, who would then run away."

A 27-year-old female Kurdish fighter named Tekoshin also told AFP at the time, "I think [the IS] were more afraid of us than of the men. They believe they’ll go to hell if they die at a woman’s hands.”

Tekoshin added that she and other women are challenging the Islamic State because the group is "against women's liberation."

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"They don't allow women in areas under their control to go to the market [and make them wear headscarves]," she said. "Our struggle against [the IS] is to defend women from them and from that kind of thinking."

According to Insider, the Kurdish forces have been successful in pushing IS out of Syrian towns, Kobani and Al-Houl, which the terrorist group previously controlled. A 2014 NBC News report revealed that the women rise at 4 AM for a full day lessons and drills. The women who fight range from age 18 to 24, but there are 12-year-old recruits who start off cooking, handling chores, and training under those above them.

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