Women's Protection Units (YPJ)

Jiyan Tolhildan

Jiyan Tolhildan (Salwa Yusuf), a leader of the Syrian Defence Force (SDF) Counter Terrorism Units, and who led the fight against ISIS, was murdered by Turkey in a drone strike on July 22, reports Sarah Glynn.

Women fighters from the SDF at al-Sina’a prison in Hesekê. Photo: YPJ Rojava/Twitter

The recent Islamic State (ISIS) attack on the al-Sina’a prison in Hesekê, northeast Syria, made headlines around the world, reports Peter Boyle

In 2012, the newly formed Kurdish self-defence forces took control of the town of Kobanê from the Assad regime’s forces.

Despite all the immense challenges facing it, the revolution has survived. It has provided tremendous inspiration to people around the world. It thus has a global meaning and relevance.

“Freedom” can be a very difficult word to define, but it is easy to understand when you lose it.

I am almost four years old. I am on horseback with my mother as our family is being smuggled from northern Iraq across the border on a clear spring dawn. It is 1988 and the Iran-Iraq War is at its final, gruelling, violent end.

A cool breeze blows against us.

I stare up at the sky tracking the sound of the planes and anticipating the familiar silence before the bang of exploding bombs shatter the earth. The planes circle overhead, but this plane is different from the other planes we’ve seen so often.

Green Left Weekly hosted a screening of the film Kurdistan: Women at War on March 9 to celebrate International Women’s Day. The film, directed by Mylene Sauloy, follows the historical development of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) and other similar groups defending and transforming their communities across Northern Syria.

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