A woman who was regarded as a symbol of hope in the fight against ISIS has allegedly been beheaded by the terrorist organization. Rehana, a pseudonym, was a Kurdish fighter battling for a Syrian border town. Some sources claimed she killed over 100 ISIS militants. Rehana became a sensation after journalist Pawan Durani tweeted a photo of her making the V-sign.
Rehana fought for the Kurdish YPJ, or Women's Defense Unit, in Kobane. Rumors about her death began flying after a photo of an ISIS fighter allegedly holding Rehana’s head aloft circulated on Twitter. Her death is unconfirmed and YPJ has yet to respond to The Daily Mail’s request for a comment.
Though warfare is typically considered a man’s work in the Middle East, thousands of women have been joining the fight against ISIS. In April, Kurdish forces created all-female combat units. Since then, more than 10,000 women have taken up arms and joined the fight.
Nasser Haj Mansour, a defense official in Syria's Kurdish region, has praised these female fighters and said they’ve played a major role in the ongoing conflict.
One 28-year-old woman used to be a teacher before she went to the front lines. Using the name Afshin Kobani, she explained why she joined the battle to The Daily Mail. “I lost many friends to this, and I decided there was a need to join up,” she said. “This is our land- our own- and if we don't do it, who else will?”
Kobani has been fighting for more than a year and deservedly rose through the ranks. She is now the commander of a mixed-gender unit. “We are just the same as men; there's no difference,” she said. “We can do any type of job, including armed mobilization.”
This month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported ISIS militants beheaded nine Kurdish fighters, including three women, captured in clashes near where Rehana was stationed.
Image via The Daily Mail