There is nothing more important to them than freedom, they play a fundamental role in the war on Islamic terrorism and today they are once again on the front line fighting and dying for freedom. Kurdish women are partisans of humanity and do not give in to anything with their famous motto: "we will fight until we achieve peace". They often enlist as teenagers and come of age on the front line, either with the consent of their family or against their will.
These fighters, of all ages, have come back to the scene after the escalation of the conflict in Syria. After the recent withdrawal of American troops in the border areas between Turkey and Syria, Turkish President Erdogan launched his offensive, called "Operation Source of Peace", against Rojava, the area in the north-east of Syria occupied by Kurdish-Syrian forces.
Since 2014, the Kurdish Ypg (People's Protection Unit) and its allies have played a leading role in the rejection of Islamic extremists in Daesh, initially independently with the support of the international community and the United States in particular. Now that that support is no longer there, Kurdish militants find themselves alone in the face of the Turkish advance. Many analysts also agree that there is a risk of terrorist cells being reformed: in fact, in recent years, the Kurds have supervised and administered the refugee camps and prisons where thousands of Isis militants and their families are still present. The Kurdish "warriors" resist torture and violence in order not to betray, remain in jail and do not name their companions. They fight not to go back, and in this battle they go forward and make history run. Warriors of peace, "we will fight until peace wins", they wrote in their letter to all women and all peoples who love freedom.
Rojava, region of tension and military guerrilla warfare
Established in 2012, following the events associated with the Syrian Civil War, the Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria (known as Rojava) is considered by the Kurdish forces as one of the four parts that make up Kurdistan. It has never been officially recognized by either the Syrian or the Turkish government, but it has attracted international attention. In the Rojava desert about eight thousand women are under the orders of Commander Nessrin Abdalla. In the same province lies the village of Jinvar where the Yazide women live, a small community of widows and single mothers repudiated by their families. Until the last century the Kurdish women did not even have a name, they called them the daughter of this one and the wife of that one. Then this slavery was broken by the Kurdistan Workers' Party "Pkk". Now women fight on the mountains more than men, they decide to resist without asking permission from their comrades. As long as their land is not free, they are not free and to gain freedom, they fight and give up marrying and having a man next to them. They give up everything to fight and become free. Those who choose to enter the Ypj cannot have a husband and cannot consume alcohol, these restrictions are essential because war does not allow distractions. If you get distracted you risk dying. Fighters are in love with freedom and nothing else. "For them even an ugly woman becomes beautiful if she is free".
The "Rojava Revolution" has also attracted thousands of Western fighters to Syria, who have embraced and shared the Kurdish cause, attracted ideals of equality, freedom of worship, feminism and environmental sustainability that since the beginning have made the governmental experience of this difficult territory.
Ypj and the appeal to the international community
On 10 October 2019 some of the Ypg leaders together with a delegation from Rovaja held a conference in Rome at the Chamber of Deputies. The support of the international community was requested in a lucid and frank manner, attacking the democratic system, and the militants affirmed the promotion of a policy of coexistence between Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Christians and Armenians. The international community has a duty to support Kurdish women in the battle for freedom, a freedom that concerns us all.
Translated by Francesca Cioffi
Original version by Juan Guillermo De Los Rios Garrido