YPJ Commander: We defeated ISIS but our struggle continues

“The YPJ defeated ISIS in their own base but our mission to free and protect women from male mindset and atrocity, continues.”

Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) took part in all the military operations launched against ISIS in North and East Syria, as well as in the liberation of the ‘Capital of Caliphate’.

YPJ fighters have been in the frontlines in the Operation Cizire Storm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They have rescued thousands of civilians from ISIS, including hundreds of Yazidi women and children who had been kidnapped from Shengal during the ISIS onslaught in 2014.

“Primary goal is to free women from ISIS”

Fighters from Deir ez-Zor also partaking in the operation. The spokesperson for the campaign, Lilwa Abdullah, is one of the female fighters from Deir ez-Zor. Women from all constituents in the region are joining the military campaign.

Newroz Ehmed, a commander of the YPJ and member of the SDF General Command, stated that female fighters have played a leading role in the Operation Cizire Storm as was the case in all other operations in North and East Syria. “Their primary goal is to free women from ISIS atrocity,” she said.

During the course of the campaign, the fighters faced several obstacles such as sandstorm, heavy rain, adverse weather conditions, atmosphere of violence and fear for civilian massacres spread by ISIS during 5 years of occupation.

Newroz Ehmed said the following; “At first, when we started to free a region, people shied away from our forces who had been defamed a lot by the mercenaries yet before our arrival. However, as they got to know us, they gathered together around us and provided support in the advance of the campaign. We can say that the female fighters, despite all the obstackes, succeeded in their mission of rescuing women.”

200 Yazidi women rescued

ISIS mercenaries had kidnapped hundreds of Yazidi women during their onslaught on Shengal on August 3, 2014. During the Operation Cizire Storm, hundreds of these women have been freed from ISIS captivity.

Newroz Ehmed said 200 women from Shengal were freed and reunited with their families as the campaign continued.

Participation growing

The YPJ Commander said that more women were joining the ranks of Women’s Defense Units, adding; “ISIS mercenaries are using women as meta. The freed women want to join our ranks as they get to know us.”

“YPJ defeated ISIS”

Remarking that ISIS mercenaries are afraid of the women’s military forces, Newroz Ehmed pointed out that female fighters have paid a heavy price to liberate the people and their lands from ISIS, with dozens of them having fallen as martyrs during the campaign.

Ehmed added; “The regions liberated in the Operation Cizire Storm were the last ISIS areas held by ISIS. The YPJ defeated ISIS in their own base but our mission to free and protect women from male mindset and atrocity, continues.”