They call themselves the “Force of the Sun Ladies,” a name that reflects the culture’s solar reverence. Monotheistic and embracing elements of several religions, Yazidi once numbered 650,000 in Iraq, nearly all on the northern Nineveh Plain. ISIS’ genocidal campaign to “purify” Iraq of non-Muslims led to the slaughter of thousands and displaced at least 200,000.PaleoJudaica has been following the fate of the Yazidis, whose unique religion has interesting and yet-to-be-clarified parallels with ancient Gnosticism, for many years. Generally the news has not been good and it has only gotten worse since the rise of ISIS.
“Our elite force is a model for other women in the region,” she said. “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.”
The women willfully stepped into the line of fire as a support force to the Peshmerga on Nov. 13, the day the Kurdish forces took back their hometowns and villages from ISIS occupation. The newly formed unit engaged in direct combat and later helped clear streets and buildings rigged with explosives.
As with the Christians, Kurds and Iraqi military, they know the imminent battle to retake Mosul will be the real test. Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul is the terrorist group’s regional base. Most of the Yazidi women who escaped ISIS were held in Mosul and can help provide valuable intelligence, as well as boots on the ground. And fighting to free those left behind provides added motivation.
Now the survivors are fighting back. More power to them.
Related (AWOL): Monuments of Mosul in Danger. Mosul fell to ISIS in June of 2014.