In a region with a proud history of all-female fighting forces, the Yazidi brigade has seen its numbers bolstered in recent weeks as more and more women break free from the Isis jihadist group’s oppressive regime.
The brigade has become known as the “Force of the Sun Ladies”, and it is already battle-hardened after helping to take back Sinjar from Isis and continuing to guard its mountain home.
They are just some of the 2,000 Yazidi women who were captured and forced into sexual slavery when Isis raided Mount Sinjar in 2014 – but the UN estimates Isis still holds an estimated 3,500 people captive in Iraq, the majority being Yazidi women and girls.
While the Iraqi army is not yet ready to take the fight to Isis in Mosul, the Kurds have taken up positions within miles of the jihadists’ stronghold, preparing for an assault.
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