Female fighters of the PKK may be the Islamic State’s worst nightmare

Published on Stars and Stripes, Aug 30, 2014.

MAKHMUR, Iraq — It’s an Islamic State fighter’s worst fear: to be killed by a woman. In northern Iraq, where Kurdish forces are rapidly regaining territory held by the Islamic State, that’s becoming real risk for the extremists … //

… The leftist PKK has been fighting the Turkish government for decades and is classed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. But its fighters have been going into battle alongside Kurdish peshmerga in recent weeks and are credited by some locals with turning the tide of battle in Iraq.

The female PKK troops get fired up when they talk about the mass rapes and sex slavery that has been a hallmark of the Islamic State. “Everywhere they go they kill and do bad things in the name of Islam,” Karhan said. “They captured a lot of women and they are selling them in Syria for $100. They rape women and behead them in the name of Islam

Karhan said she’d heard stories about the extremists’ fear of being killed by the opposite sex. In northern Iraq, it is said that the Islamic State fighters, who are exclusively male, believe that they won’t be admitted to heaven if they are killed by a woman. At Makhmur, that may have been the fate of several Sunni extremists gunned down by the PKK. “Nobody knows if there is heaven or hell,” Karhan said. “How can they know they will get 27 virgins? To me Kurdistan is heaven and Kurdish women are angels. Heaven is no place for terrorists.”

Budak said that she would could go shopping, wear makeup and buy nice clothes if she stayed in Turkey, but then she wouldn’t have her freedom. “I am happy here with my freedom in my own country,” she said.

The PKK commander in Makhmur, Tekosher Zagros, praised his female troops but got upset when a linguist confused his group with the peshmerga — Kurdish government forces … //

… (full text).

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