News coming out of Iraq indicates that the YPG (People’s Protection Unit), an armed wing of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), has launched a desperate suicide attack against ISIS tanks as they moved in on a village filled with civilians. SOFREP has been unable to independently confirm all of this information at this time, but it is consistent with the firsthand accounts of the fighting between the PKK/YPG and ISIS we have been given, along with the additional photographic evidence presented here.
Last week saw fierce fighting between the armed Kurdish militant group and the ISIS in the Rojava (meaning West), Kurdistan. This is an area formerly belonging to Syria, but one that has been captured and disputed by the Kurds since 2012.
When ISIS began rolling towards the village of Matin, the YPG fighters put up a fight to protect the civilians who were unable to evacuate. While ISIS fired on them with .50 caliber machine guns mounted atop captured American M113 armored vehicles, the YPG fighters depleted most of their ammunition. At this point, they were left only with AK-47s and some explosives to fight back against the ISIS armored column.
A YPG volunteer offered to sacrifice himself to prevent the slaughter of the village at the hands of ISIS. Carrying what explosives he could manage, he charged towards the center of the ISIS armored vehicle formation, but his attack was unsuccessful. A second volunteer then launched another suicide attack, managing to take out a few ISIS vehicles. But most were still rolling towards the village.
A third YPG fighter named Kaniwar Bozan, who had assumed the war name Chia Kobani, made a third desperate suicide attack against the armored column, destroying the remaining three M113s.
While ISIS follows extremist Islamic doctrine which glorifies the martyr culture, suicide attacks carried out by the PKK are very rare. For instance, the PKK claimed responsibility for a suicide attack against a Turkish police station in 2012, but this is outside the norm. One well-placed SOFREP source has told us that, while some PKK members are extreme in their Marxist doctrine, the vast majority of them are not, in fact, fanatical.