Archive for the ‘Female Kurdish fighters’ category

British woman killed fighting Turkish forces in Afrin

March 20, 2018

Matt Blake Mon 19 Mar 2018 02.00 EDT via The Guardian

Source Link: British woman killed fighting Turkish forces in Afrin

{Bravery comes in many forms. – LS}

Anna Campbell believed to be the first British woman to die alongside Kurdish forces in Syria

A British woman fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Afrin, northern Syria, has been killed, her Kurdish commanders have said.

Anna Campbell, from Lewes, East Sussex, was volunteering with the US-backed Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) – the all-female affiliate army of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – in the besieged city of Afrin when the convoy she was travelling in was struck by a Turkish missile on 16 March.

Sources say the 26-year-old initially travelled to Syria to join the Kurdish struggle against Islamic State, but begged her Kurdish commanders to send her to the Afrin front after Turkey launched a ground and air offensive to oust Kurdish forces from its borderlands in January.

“They refused at first, but she was adamant, and even dyed her blonde hair black so as to appear less conspicuous as a westerner,” a YPJ source told the Guardian.

“Finally they gave in and let her go.”

She is not only the first British woman killed fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria, but also the first Briton to die there since Turkey launched its incursion into Kurdish-held territory on 20 January.

In a statement to the Guardian on Sunday, YPJ commander and spokesperson Nesrin Abdullah said: “[Campbell’s] martyrdom is a great loss to us because with her international soul, her revolutionary spirit, which demonstrated the power of women, she expressed her will in all her actions … On behalf of the Women’s Defence Units YPJ, we express our deepest condolences to [her] family and we promise to follow the path she took up. We will represent her in the entirety of our struggles.”

Her father, Dirk Campbell, described her as a “beautiful and loving daughter” who “would go to any lengths to create the world that she believed in”.

“Anna was very idealistic, very serious, very wholehearted and wanted to create a better world. She wasn’t fighting when she died, she was engaged in a defensive action against the Turkish incursion.”

In recent months Turkey has shifted its focus from fighting Isis in Syria to preventing the YPG from establishing a foothold along its border, arguing that the YPG is linked to its own insurgent group, the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK). The US, EU and Britain, however, do not consider the YPG a terrorist group, which it has supported in its fight against Isis since 2014.

Dirk Campbell said his daughter had dedicated her life to the fight against “unjust power and privilege”.

He said she was a committed human rights and environmental campaigner who would “put herself on the line for what she believed in”.

“It seems a small thing, but I remember when she was 11, she protected a bumblebee from being tormented by other kids at school,” he recalled. “She did it with such strength of will that they ridiculed her. But she didn’t care. She was absolutely single-minded when it came to what she believed in, and she believed what Turkey is doing is wrong.”

He said his daughter’s passion for campaigning was inspired by her mother, Adrienne, who was well-known on the south of England’s activism scene and died of breast cancer five years ago. “Anna was a credit to her mum, my wife, and was carrying on a lot of the kind of work that she was doing,” he added.

Campbell told her father of her plans to travel to northern Syria last May after she heard about the grassroots feminist and socialist revolution that has swept Rojava (the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria and heartland of the YPG/J) and inspired the Kurds’ fight against Isis.

“I didn’t try to stop her,” Mr Campbell said. “Because I knew, once she had decided to do something, she was unstoppable. That’s why she went to Rojava: to help build a world of equality and democracy where everyone has a right to representation. When she told me she was going I joked: ‘It’s been nice knowing you.’ I just knew it might be the last time I’d see her.”

Upon arrival in Rojava, Campbell completed the YPJ’s mandatory month-long military training course, in which new recruits learn basic Kurdish, weaponry and battlefield tactics on top of a crash course in the egalitarian and feminist ideology of the YPG/J, and was assigned to an infantry division, comprising a mix of Kurdish and international fighters. There she was given the nom-de-guerre Helîn Qerecox and sent to the front.

YPJ sources said she spent her first months in the country fighting in Deir ez-Zor, Isis’s last major stronghold and scene of the jihadist group’s bitter last stand. But with Isis now on the brink of defeat, foreign fighters within Kurdish ranks have faced a choice: return home or remain in Syria to help the YPG repel Turkey’s attack.

“After the initial attacks on Afrin, comrade Helîn insisted on joining the operation to defend Afrin,” said Abdullah. “Before leaving, she had already received her military training, and, although we wanted to protect her and did not agree with her decision … she incessantly insisted on her wish to leave for Afrin. She even gave us a condition: ‘Either I will go home and abandon the life as a revolutionary or you send me to Afrin. But I would never leave the revolution, so I will go to Afrin’.”

She added: “For us, as the YPJ, comrade Helîn will always be a symbol as a pioneering internationalist woman. We will live up to her hope and beliefs. We will forever pursue her aim to struggle for women, for oppressed communities.”

Mark Campbell, activist and co-chair of the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign, added: “Anna, by all accounts, was taken deep into the heart of the Kurdish people as she stood side by side with them in their darkest hour. Our thoughts and condolences are with Anna’s family and friends as this time.”

Campbell is believed to be the eighth British citizen killed while serving with Kurdish forces in Syria.

Changing only our rules of engagement won’t help much – Updated October 6th

October 6, 2014

Changing only our rules of engagement won’t help much – Updated October 6th, Dan Miller’s Blog, October 6, 2014

(The rather “defeatist” views expressed here are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic. — DM)

I posted this article from Israel Hayom at Warsclerotic, of which I am an editor. The article argues that to fight the Islamic State we need to change our rules of engagement. The parenthetical comment at the top of the Warsclerotic post is mine and is reproduced below.

(Could the U.S. and her allies put effective boots on the ground, or have the boots and the nation become too multiculturally damaged to do what needs to be done? More than the rules of war needs to change.

When the U.S. responded to the Russian supplied, trained and initially led North Korean invasion on June 25, 1950, we had been at peace for only five years. We were tired and wanted peace to continue but war came to us unexpectedly; it should have been expected. Our peacetime boots were badly supplied, trained and, more often than not, led. Some but not enough officers and senior noncoms had experienced war and knew what to do. Very few in the lower enlisted ranks had or did and “bug out” became a much used phrase. The NK troops had been hardened in combat, were adequately supplied, well trained and well led. Those who did not fight were executed. They pushed us back nearly to Pusan. By mid-September, we had more better led and trained troops; they had also become very angry at the NK troops, and intense anger is a powerful force multiplier. The NK tide was reversed, for a couple of years.

Were we now to try to put green boots on the ground to do what is necessary against well trained, led and financed Islamic troops, a  majority  of the public would oppose it and it would be politically unpopular. Were we to put boots on the ground anyway, they would likely need to undergo lengthy and deadly immersion-style baptism by fire. There would be substantial casualties and the opposition would increase.

Should we do it anyway if only the rules of engagement change? Can we, or is that now a fantasy? — DM)

Can the Obama Nation field a well trained, led and supplied contingent, of adequate size, to defeat the “non-Islamic” Islamic State, its cohorts and friends? Or are we too multicultural and decadent? Is our multicultural focus more on such nonsense as, for only one example, “gender equality” in the military than on winning wars?

I have few if any concerns about real gender equality. Kurdish women fighting against the Islamic State have disabused me of most that I once had. Please watch the video embedded below. One of the commanders was asked why she joked and smiled when around her troops. She answered, “I have to in order to keep their morale high.” That is a statement one would expect from a seasoned and competent commander.

However, when politically correct gender “equality” means that military training and other standards are lowered so that young ladies can serve, it becomes gender inequality and diminishes the effectiveness of our military. It would be only slightly less absurd, and only slightly less dangerous — to them and to those around them — to send such green “boots” on the ground into combat wearing high heel shoes and carrying only their purses.

Compare the Kurdish women fighters to this specimen of our deranged, multicultural and politically correct society:

Back to the Korea “police action:” President Truman had served in World War I as an artillery battery commander and rose to colonel in the reserves. Although a far from perfect Commander in Chief, he knew more about war than Obama could ever learn. Obama has no desire to learn; the “smartest person” in any room, He commonly ignores advice from those who have learned. Truman knew about the need for good military discipline, Obama has very little discipline himself and does not.

We fared poorly during the June 25 through mid-September period in South Korea. Could we now expect green boots on the ground to do even as well if plucked from a peaceful, multicultural environment and sent to fight against the Islamic State, et al, no less brutal than were the North Korean and later Chinese forces? Is there sufficient reason to try, now, even though our “kinetic activity” can not be successful with air power alone?

Do we even know the enemy, when Obama and others continue to refer to Islam as the “Religion of Peace” and praise its contributions to American culture? From Obama’s 2014 Eid Greeting:

While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.

In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy. [Emphasis added.]

When the Islamic State is erroneously deemed non-Islamic? When we continue to label Islamic terrorism at home as “workplace violence?” When, shortly after the recent Oklahoma beheading by an Islamist, Obama sends a special messenger from the White House to deliver a belated note of thanks to the mosque he attended for “helping rebuild the Moore community after a destructive tornado tore through the city in 2013.” [Emphasis added.]

Your service is a powerful example of the powerful roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together with shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice,” President Barack Obama said.

The Imam, the leader of the prayer service, stated during his sermon that the Muslim faith has been called a “cancer that needs to be cut off from the American society.

It seems unlikely, at best, that we — or at least too many of us — know the enemy that cannot be named.

According to the linked Israel Hayom article,

Islamic State is not an organization that can be defeated with slow, uncertain, limited action. It cannot be defeated without “boots on the ground.” It is imperative to hit them with force; with waves of growing intensity. They must be attacked continuously, without breaks, without cease-fires and with the utmost determination. [Emphasis added.]

I agree, and wish that we could field a fighting force of that caliber to move quickly and effectively, before too many get clobbered and before we have to bring them all home, many in body bags. We seem less able to do that now than we were during the opening months of the “police action” in Korea. Since we can’t defeat the Islamic State, et al, with “slow, uncertain, limited action,” can we dispatch boots in the tens of thousands to do the job effectively? For the reasons suggested above, that seems even less likely.

Unfortunately, fantasy now trumps reality; until that changes, we should not send green boots into combat; we have few others to send. We. Are. Screwed.

 

Obama Betrays the Kurds

September 30, 2014

Obama Betrays the Kurds, National Review on line, Robert ZubrinSeptember 30, 2014

(Please see also this video about Kurdish female fighters. — DM)

The Kurds are fighting bravely, but they need arms, and they need air support.

Kurdish fightersAhmad al-Rubaye/Getty Images)

[S]ome 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away. The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave. [Emphasis added.]

*****************

In his speech to the United Nations last week, President Obama pledged to the world that the United States would use its might to stop the horrific depredations of the terrorist movement variously known as the Islamic State, ISIS, or, as he calls it, ISIL.

“This group has terrorized all who they come across in Iraq and Syria,” the president proclaimed. “Mothers, sisters, daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war. Innocent children have been gunned down. Bodies have been dumped in mass graves. Religious minorities have been starved to death. In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings have been beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.”

“No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions,” he said. “There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death. . . . We will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities. We will use our military might in a campaign of air strikes to roll back ISIL. We will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground.”

These are brave words that well and truly denounce evil for what it is. Unfortunately, the president’s actions since then have been anything but consistent with his pledge to stop the terrorism.

As these lines are being written, some 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away. The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave.

According to Kurdish sources, the Turks are massing troops on their own side of the border, with the apparent plan being to sit in place and allow the Kurds to be exterminated, and then move in to take over the region once they are gone. This is the same plan as Josef Stalin used when he allowed the Nazis to wipe out the Polish underground during the Warsaw rising of 1944, and only afterward sent in the Red Army to take control of what was left of the city. If anything, it is even more morally reprehensible, since it could be pointed out in Stalin’s defense that his forces were at least pummeling the enemy elsewhere while the Warsaw fight was under way. In contrast, the Turks are doing nothing of the sort. For an American administration to collude in such a mass atrocity is infamous.

If we are to win the war against the Islamic State, we need ground forces, and the Obama administration has rejected the idea of sending in any of our own. The Kurds, who have demonstrated both their bravery and their willingness to be friends with America, are right there, and already engaged in the fight. If supplied with adequate arms and backed by serious U.S. tactical air support, they could roll up ISIS as rapidly as the similarly reinforced Northern Alliance did the Taliban in the fall of 2001. Done right, this war could be won in months, instead of waged inconclusively for years.

The administration, however, has rejected this alternative, and has instead opted for a Saudi-Qatari plan to allow the Syrian Kurds to be exterminated while training a new Sunni Arab army in Saudi Arabia. Given the Saudi role in the new army’s tutelage and officer selection, the Islamist nature of this force is a foregone conclusion. At best it might provide a more disciplined replacement for the Islamic State as an Islamist Syrian opposition at some point in the distant future (current official administration estimates are at least a year) when it is considered ready for combat. Meanwhile the killing will simply go on, with the United States doing its part to further Islamist recruitment by indulging in endless strategy-free bombing of Sunni villages.

So now, to paraphrase the president, “Mothers, sisters, daughters will be subjected to rape as a weapon of war. Innocent children will be gunned down. Bodies will be dumped in mass graves. Religious minorities will be starved to death. In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings will be beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.”

Surely we can do better.

 

Kurdish Female Fighters against ISIS – FEMALE STATE (extended un-aired footage)

September 30, 2014

Kurdish Female Fighters against ISIS – FEMALE STATE (extended un-aired footage), September 29, 2014

(Why are “we” not providing more support to the Kurdish fighters? Might it offend some members of our “coalition of the willing” that the Kurdish fighters — women among them — probably would not require remedial training of the type “we” apparently need to provide to Iraqi troops and others? WTF — “Win the Future,” or something. Who is leading this clusterdunk and from where? Please see also Obama betrays the Kurds.— DM)