(International Business Times) Besieged since September 15, the Kurdish-majority city of Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan has mounted an all-out resistance to Isis (Islamic State) backed by state power and superior weaponry. This resistance, like our earlier struggle against Jabhat al-Nusra, has been empowered, if not led, by Kurdish female fighters.
Ever since Kurdistan was divided among Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran in the 1920s, self-defence against occupiers and aggressors has been a natural part of its people's daily lives. Throughout all those years, Kurdish female fighters have fought side-by-side with men.
During the 1925 Sheikh Said and 1938 Dersim resistance movements against the Turkish regime, for instance, women armed themselves and fought alongside men. Telli Xanim, a guerilla and the wife of the Kurdish general Yado, a commander of the 1925 Sheikh Said resistance, is an idol of female Kurdish fighters today. Similarly, Zerîfe Xanim, the wife of Elîsêr, a Kurdish poet and politician who commanded the 1938 Dersim resistance, fought and died alongside her husband.
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