Women Take Up Arms Against The Islamic State

Hundreds of women stand armed and ready to bring the fight to the Islamic State on behalf of Iraq’s Kurdish population.

The women peshmerga of the 2nd Battalion is a group of 550 women led by Col. Nahida Ahmad Rashid, the New York Post reports, which has been preparing for battle.

SULEIMANIYE, IRAQ: Iraqi Kurdish women Peshmerga (volunteering fighter) snipers train at the general command base in Suleimaniya, a city 250 kms northeast of Baghdad controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), 02 November 2002. Some 300 women Peshmerga has joined the PUK in their controlled enclave. (Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

“It’s an honor to be part of a modern Muslim country that allows women to defend the homeland,” an unidentified mother in the battalion told the New York Post.

The battalion has not yet faced IS, but has been training in the Kurd city Sulaymaniyah in Northern Iraq.

Another member of the battalion, who is four months pregnant and has a 5-year-old daughter, told the Post she will go to the front lines if called. “This is my duty, no matter if I am bearing a child or not,” she said.

According to the New York Post, peshmerga translates to “those who confront death.”

Follow Rachel on Twitter