Around 2000 Yazidi women who were captured by ISIS and sold into sex slavery are now determined to fight and eradicate the terror group.
The women who were captured in August 2014 attack and had escaped later are not trained and have taken up arms against their oppressors. Called by the name ‘Sun Ladies’ the thousands of women have signed up to fight the evil.
“Now we are defending ourselves from the evil; we are defending all the minorities in the region,” Capt. Khatoon Khider told FoxNews.com from the unit’s makeshift base in Duhok, Iraq. “We will do whatever is asked of us.”
Khidar is one of the 123 women who have been trained for the job to take their place alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The women range in age from 17 to 37, and there are another 500 who are awaiting training. These women have witnessed the slaughter of their families on Mount Sinjar and are not driven by vengeance.
“Women were throwing their children from the mountains and then jumping themselves because it was a faster way to die,” Khider recalled. “Our hands were all tied. We couldn’t do anything about it.
“Whenever a war wages, our women end up as the victims,” she added.
They call themselves the “Sun Ladies” owing to the sun god that Yazidis worship. 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.
Some managed to escape when coalition forces pounded ISIS from the air and broke its siege of Mount Sinjar. But thousands starved to death or died of heatstroke, and ISIS later systematically killed men, as well as women, deemed too old or too young to be sold into sexual slavery. Boys who could be brainwashed and conscripted as child soldiers were kidnapped.
Women taken as captives were ordered to convert to Islam, subjected to forced marriages and repeatedly raped. Several escaped after being sold off to low-level fighters, while others were ransomed back to their families.
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.