One group battling Islamic State has a secret weapon – female fighters

February 3, 2015 1:12 PM

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For nearly a year now, the Kurdish People’s Defense Units, or YPG, has been fighting against Islamic State. In the process, they have gained control of large portions of the three Kurdish-majority cantons in northern Syria, including the frontline city of Kobani. The military successes of the militia has been impressive to date, but it is by no means the only front on which it is challenging Islamic State.

Apart from simply battling for survival, the Kurdish rebels are also waging an important ideological battle in the region. They have repeatedly appealed to progressive democratic ideals as a way to counter the jihadists in their struggle for the hearts and minds of the region’s inhabitants. Last Jan...

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