Not your typical peshmerga fighter: The female Kurdish pop star with assault rifle rings who inspires troops with her songs about destroying ISIS
- Helen Abdulla, who goes by the name Helly Luv, was born in Iran in 1988
- Grew up under Suddam Hussein before moving to Finland as a child
- Launched career in LA before going back to Middle East for latest song
- Filmed video in town a mile from where peshmerga are fighting ISIS
- Praised by Kurdish fighter for helping to bring attention to their cause
By Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
With golden high heels, immaculate makeup and bright red hair, Helen Abdullah is perhaps not your typical Kurdish fighter in the war against Islamic State.
Her only weapons are two miniature assault rifles that adorn rings on her fingers, while it is doubtful that the bullets stitched to her brightly decorated camouflage would be much use in a firefight.
However, performing as Helly Luv, the singer has been praised by peshmerga forces for her latest music video for bringing attention to their fight against the brutal forces of ISIS.
Born in Iran in 1988, she grew up under the regime of Suddam Hussein in Iraq, who waged a brutal and deadly campaign of repression against the Kurds.
Her grandfather was a member of the peshmerga, the Kurdish fighting force, but her family decided to leave that life behind, moving to Finland while Helen was still young.
Having started life in the Middle East, she then spent her teenage years in the West, before moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18, keen to pursue a career in music.
Living in the city on her own, she promoted herself through her Myspace page and struggled to get a break, but was eventually picked up by a record label just as she was planning to return home.
Her debut single made it all the way to number three in Finland, competing with Rihanna’s Diamonds for the top spot, and an album followed shortly afterwards.
But it is her latest track for which she has received the most attention, and won the attentions of Kurdish fighters in the Middle East.
Entitled Revolution, it was filmed in an abandoned town near Mosul in Iraq, just a mile from where ISIS fighters were clashing with Kurdish forces.
In the song she talks about winning the war against the fundamentalist terrorists in order to bring peace to the Middle East.
Through she refer to the organisation as Daesh, an Islamic term for the group which they consider to be offensive.
‘We were in a little village called Khazer that was attacked by Isis militants before and was abandoned. We were afraid to shoot as there were bombs left over and drove back at night because I thought it would be safer – but nothing was ever sure,’ she told IBTimes UK.
‘One day we saw on the news that they had shot a tank from the same location and it had hit Kalak – 15 minutes away from us – and killed and injured many civilians.’
Footage of her shooting the weapon on the militants from inside the tank was deliberately omitted, in case it was accused of being a set up, she said.
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