The Syriac Xtian female fighters leaving it all behind to battle ISIS on the frontlines
- Women from the Syriac Christian community flock to join fight against ISIS
- Many of the female fighters have left behind their families and jobs to fight
- The new all-female Christian militia is called the ‘Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers’
The 36-year-old soldier from the Syriac Christian minority in northeastern Syria believes she is making the future safe for her children after joining a new all-female Syriac militia.
‘I miss Limar and Gabriella and worry that they must be hungry, thirsty and cold. But I try to tell them I’m fighting to protect their future,’ she told AFP.
Babylonia belongs to a small, recently created battalion of Syriac Christian women in Hasakeh province who are fighting ISIS.
They are following in the footsteps of Syria’s other main female force battling the jihadists — the women of the YPJ, the female counterpart to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units or YPG.
Although the new militia group is small, it is expected to grow in size.
One of its training camps has already produced around 50 graduates in the town of Al-Qahtaniyeh, also known as Kabre Hyore in Syriac.
The militia is known as the ‘Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers,’ referring to the area between the Tigris and Euphrates waterways historically inhabited by Syriacs.
Babylonia revealed it was actually her husband who encouraged her to leave their children Limar, nine, and six-year-old Gabriella, in order to join the unit whose first recruits graduated in August.
Babylonia’s husband is also a soldier and he urged her to take up arms to ‘fight against the idea that the Syriac woman is good for nothing except housekeeping and make-up’, she said.
‘I’m a practising Christian and thinking about my children makes me stronger and more determined in my fight against Daesh (ISIS),’ added Babylonia.
Syriac Christians belong to the eastern Christian tradition and pray in Aramaic. They include both Orthodox and Catholic branches, and constitute around 15 percent of Syria’s 1.2 million Christians.
Before the conflict began in March 2011, Christians from some 11 different sects made up around five percent of the population.
The unit’s first major action was alongside the newly created Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Kurdish, Arab and Christian fighters, which recently
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