Escaping ISIS, These Former Sex Slaves Created A Battalion & Are Now Fighting Their Captors

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The greatest threat to humanity in the world today is terrorist group ISIS. Over the past few years it has been hard to escape the horrific news of their impact not just in the middle east, now also in the Western world as we saw in Paris in 2015.

While various world leaders are constantly trying to stay on top of the threat of this group, there are groups of female soldiers who are joining the fight to defend their families and freedom. News that ISIS members and other Islamist extremists don’t believe they will get to heaven if they are killed by a woman was music to the ears of a group of Kurdish female fighters who were more than happy to exact revenge on the terrorists.

There have been other female-led brigades who aren’t content to be sitting ducks, instead they are making their way to the front lines in order to ensure their families, communities and livelihoods are not destroyed by religious extremism and oppressive ideology.

Along with the violence ISIS are inflicting throughout Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan, publicly beheading people, they have also been taking a number of women and girls as sex slaves. A shocking report from the New York Times called it their “theology of rape” where they believe taking advantage of women is somehow their duty or part of their rights.

“The Islamic State’s formal introduction of systematic sexual slavery dates to Aug. 3, 2014, when its fighters invaded the villages on the southern flank of Mount Sinjar…A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders.

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To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden,” writes Rukmini Callimachi.

As oppressive as the terrorist group are, the Yazidi women are not about to go quietly into the night. In a desperate bid to protect themselves, some Yazidi women have formed their own brigade. These women are not just any Yazidi women, they are also former ISIS sex slaves who want to ensure other women and girls don’t have to go through what they did.

They call themselves the Force of the Sun Ladies, and are among close to 2000 captives who have managed to escape ISIS captivity since the summer of 2014 when their mountain villages were stormed. In somewhat of a bittersweet revenge, the women are planning on storming Mosul, the very place where many of them were taken and exchanged by militants like objects to be their sex slaves. So far there are 173 who have signed up and undergone training to fight alongside Kurdish Pershmerga forces.

They range in ages from 17 to 37, and there are another 500 women in training who plan to join the rest of the existing Sun Ladies.

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“Now we are defending ourselves from the evil; we are defending all the minorities in the region. We will do whatever is asked of us,” said Captain Khatoon Khider to Fox News from their base in Duhok, Iraq.

Fox News reports that because of the high number of Christian Yazidis, ISIS were on a mission to wipe out any non-Muslims by killing thousands as part of their plan to “purify” Iraq. The Yazidi at one point numbered 650,000, but the massacre of many of their people and displacement of close to 200,000 has left them in a position where they feel they need to preserve the future of their race.

Simply put, it turned into a desperate fight or flight situation, and the women decided to fight back.

“Whenever a war wages, our women end up as the victims. Women were throwing their children from the mountains and then jumping themselves because it was a faster way to die. Our hands were all tied. We couldn’t do anything about it,” Captain Khider said.

She has no prior weapons or military training, like many of the other women in her brigade, but since managing to escape she approached the Peshmerga and proposed the idea of the specialized all-female Sun Ladies force in order to help women protect themselves and other vulnerable groups.

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“Our elite force is a model for other women in the region. We want to thank all the other countries who help us in this difficult time, we want everyone to take up weapons and know how to protect themselves from the evil,” Captain Khider explained.

Since becoming a team and entering the fight last November, the women have been successful in holding back further attacks from ISIS and have managed to protect what is left of their villages and communities. They have also become a vital resource to the rest of the forces fighting the terrorists as they are able to provide valuable intelligence from their time inside Mosul as sex slaves.

“We have a lot of our women in Mosul being held as slaves. Their families are waiting for them. We are waiting for them. The liberation might help bring them home,” said Captain Khider.

One of their greatest fears when facing ISIS is having to fight against some of their own family members, especially young boys, who have been kidnapped, brainwashed and trained by the terrorist group to kill their own Yazidi people.

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“Now there will be terrorist Yazidis, something that never used to be. But we have many missions left. We will do whatever is needed,” Captain Khider said.

The Sun Ladies brigade and others like them have become a source of hope for some families who thought there was no hope to defeat ISIS.

“It’s important to us to be able to protect our dignity and honor. My family is very proud; they encouraged me to join. I’m very proud to protect my people,” she said. “And after all that has happened to us Yazidis, we are no longer afraid,” said one 19 year old Sun Lady, called Mesa, to Fox News.

While this is some good news in the midst of an horrific and brutal battle, the United Nations estimates ISIS is still holding 3500 people hostage in Iraq, the majority being Yazidi women and girls. The UN Human Rights office in Iraq believes the extremists are trying to destroy all Yazidi people.

If the Force of the Sun Ladies has their way, this will not happen. We salute these brave, determined women who are not waiting for help, but instead are taking up arms in order to save their own people from further terror.

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