Syrian women freed from ISIS by female soldiers in the Kurdish Protection Units, known as YPJ, were so inspired they decided to take up the battle themselves, creating an all-women battalion to help fight the extremist group that held them captive.
The new battalion, announced by the Al-Bab Military Council on Oct. 31, is the first all-female fighter group in the region, according to ARA News. The group will be sent to the heart of the action in Syria, and will be fighting ISIS and its factions in the Aleppo province.
"When ISIS invaded Al-Bab city they detained my brother and killed him. I have been criticizing the practices of ISIS for a long time. I was arrested and tortured several times by ISIS terrorists," Akrin, a member of the YPJ, told ARA. "An ISIS female jihadist was responsible for torturing me in a very brutal way."
But her experiences only made her want to fight those who oppressed her. "I joined the newly established all-female battalion in the military council in order to fight those terrorists and free our people," she said.
The YPJ is part of the newly formed Al-Bab Military Council, which is an Arab-Kurdish coalition associated with the Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF is responsible for liberating the Syrian town of Manbij, which had been under ISIS control for two years, according to the Independent.
Many Manbij women were so inspired by the Kurdish fighters they decided to join them in their fight against extremism. Approximately 50 women have also joined the Manbij police force to protect the city from a possible ISIS retaliation.
The SDF and the new female battalion are now setting their sights on its next target, the city of Al-Bab which rests in the Aleppo province in the country's northeast. The city has approximately 60,000 citizens and many women have family members and friends living in the region.
"I have joined the council because I believe in the necessity of liberating our territory from ISIS," another female fighter, Amhan, told ARA. "This terrorist group has killed and displaced many of our people in Al-Bab."