The victories of the all-female Kurdish militia against ISIS are described in the book Daughters of Kobani : A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice, published this month by Penguin Press.
The book was written by Gayle Zemach Lemmon of the Council on Foreign Relations. Excerpts from the book were published in Marie Claire and the Military Times. According to Marie Claire, the television rights to the book have been purchased by Hillary Clinton’s new production company, HiddenLight Productions.
Hostilities with the United States
Marie Claire noted that ISIS was not defeated in battle until 2014, when it took on an all-female militia called the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ).
The women’s performance in that battle in Kobani, Syria, and in subsequent battles earned them the respect of U.S. special forces who supported them, according to Military Times. In an excerpt from his book published in Marie Claire, Lemmon claimed that the women were supporters of jailed Turkish Kurdish man Abdullah Ocalan, who campaigned for equal rights for women.
The Kobani girls: Gail Tsemach Lemmon’s story of rebellion, courage and justice is highlighted in Foreign Policy https://t.co/uZMDvmkUcl.
– Asian Review Books (@BookReviewsAsia) 16. February 2021
Insurance for Turkey
The women continued to fight after the battle of Kobani. Chapter seven of Lemmon’s book describes how the militia were killed on the night of the 30th. crossed the Euphrates in May 2016 in an operation to cut ISIS off from the border with Turkey.
You can read the chapter in the Military Times. Despite assurances from the US government that Arabs, not Kurds, would lead the attack on the ISIS-protected border town of Manbij, Lemmon says it was the Kurdish women’s militia that first crossed the Euphrates.
She recalled that crossing the river in rubber boats forced the women – most of whom could not swim – to face ISIS forces stationed on the other side of the hill.
Once on the other side, Lemmon says, the women crossed the mined area to the center of Manbij.
A new book is about the women’s militia fighting ISIS.
First of all: We never wanted ISIS…. and secondly, we didn’t want men to take credit for our work, writer Gail Tsemach Lemmon recalls the words of one of the fighters https://t.co/NyFMAKfaaH
– NPR (@NPR) February 17, 2021
It’s almost sinister
The excerpt from Marie Claire consists of an introduction to Lemmon’s book.
She tells the story of her childhood, as the daughter of an Iraqi father, in Greenbelt, Maryland. She recalls that her father was very loving, but had strong ideas about the separate and unequal roles of men and women. To him, the idea of women’s equality could not seem more absurd, she said. Lemmon said it was surprising to find male Kurdish fighters willing to accept women as full partners and leaders. She quoted a friend who said men have no problem with it. It’s almost sinister.
The Cobani Girls is Lemmon’s third book. His other books are Khair Khan’s Dress and Ashley’s War.
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