YPJ fighter follows the footsteps of martyred brother
Hasret is of the Kobanê Arabs, so she has witnessed the pain in Kobanê. She joined the YPJ in 2016 and now operates a DShK. The DShK is a heavy weapon, a task many male fighters fail to undertake.
We met Hasret Xebat in a YPJ position in the Hakıl Tanaq region which had been attacked by ISIS for 12 days. When I first saw Hasret, she was chopping a large piece of wood to build a fire. She lifted a large rock and threw it at the wood, then gathered the pieces that splintered off. Our first talk with her was by the fire she built that evening with the wood she chopped.
Hasret is of the Kobanê Arabs, so she has witnessed the pain in Kobanê. She joined the YPJ in 2016 and now operates a DShK. The DShK is a heavy weapon, a task many male fighters fail to undertake. To take it out, to clean it, to rearrange it and prepare it for fire are all difficult tasks, and require physical strength. The DShK is also very loud. Not everybody can fire rapidly with it. But Hasret has made a name for herself with her rapid DShK fire and ability to push back ISIS armored vehicles.
Her fingers are blue and calloused at such a young age. Some of her nails have fallen off completely.
Her biggest point of pride and the source of her efforts today is her brother who was martyred.
"I HAD TO CONTINUE HIS FIGHT"
“I had always been fascinated by my brother’s comradery, his honesty in life, his loyalty, love and respect. I adored him reaching his goals through great labors. When he was martyred, the only thing in my mind was to continue and further his struggle,” says Hasret. Her brother Xebat Agri was martyred in 2014 during the Kobanê resistance. Hasret remembers her brother’s words and her eyes tear up: “The DShK is one of the mightiest. It crushes the enemy’s morale. You can do a lot of damage from far away. I will teach you.” Now, she is making her brother’s dreams a reality.
TWO MORE BROTHERS IN THE YPG
Two more of Hasret’s brothers are in the YPG. Both are in the battlefield. “I also have a little sister, she can’t wait to grow up and join the YPJ. I want to see her in this struggle for freedom too,” she says. Their martyred brother is a source of pride for all siblings.
HEARD OF HER UNCLE’S MARTYRDOM
As new fighters were receiving training, she heard of her uncle’s martyrdom. This loss made her more loyal, and honed her fury.
Her duty in the frontlines is heavy weapons, but she rushes to everybody’s aid. She helps with everything, whenever I see her she’s either carrying something, or cooking, or helping her comrades clean their weapons, or loading ammunition.
Her hardworking heart beats for the revolution at every second. Hasret is following in her martyred brother’s footsteps.
* This article by Erem Kansoy first appeared on Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper and was translated by ANF English service.