Syrian Kurds' morale high but arms needed, YPJ commander

'We're fighting ISIS to save human values', says Abdallah

22 June, 15:39

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JUNE 22 - The commander of the Syrian Kurdish Women's Defense Units (YPJ), Nessrin Abdallah, said on a visit to the Italian capital on Monday that morale was strong among her troops but that weapons were lacking.

    The Islamic State (ISIS), she noted, ''has more sophisticated weapons than we do.'' Abdallah was accompanied by a delegation of representatives from the Kurdish movement that defended and liberated Kobane/Ayn Al-Arab, a city in Syrian Kurdistan along the border with Turkey, and that created an experiment in democracy and self-government called Rojava. ''We do not consider the battle only a military struggle,'' she said. It is also '' a cultural, social and value-based one that gives us the possibility to build the basis of a new model of life in our territory. It is true, we fight against the patriarchal system, religious despotism and inequality between men and women in favor of freedom and equality for women, but ISIS is a threat to the entire world, and so our struggle is to save the values of humanity.'' ''In Tal Abyad the population was forced to leave to defend itself,'' said the commander, referring to the latest YPJ operation. ''The easiest possibility was to go to Turkey, but the borders were closed, and only after a rebellion was permission given to take in the refugees. We cleaned the streets and homes of the mines that ISIS had planted and called the population back. We are providing humanitarian assistance to everyone to facilitate their return home. We have also created an organization to help women that have suffered violence.

    Security has meanwhile been established. We do not have any intention of invading the territory, and it is inaccurate to speak of ethnic cleansing as some newspapers have. Anyone who wants to come and see what is happening is welcome. As People's Defense Units, our goal is to defend everyone, without distinction.'' ''The battles against ISIS were fierce and we have many injured, including ones seriously injured, and lack the conditions to treat them,'' she said. Abdullah underscored that she hoped the YPJ would receive medical aid from the international community as well. (ANSAmed).

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