As it is believed that many jihadists fear that being killed by a woman would cost them their promised "paradise" in the afterlife, it is worth noting that a Kurdish female is one of two commanders leading the resistance against the Islamic State's quest to capture the strategic Syrian border town of Kobane.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Agence France Presse that a female commander, going by the pseudonym of Narin Afrin, is co-commanding the Kurdish peshmerga forces that have been defending the key border town since the beginning of ISIS' assault on the city Sept. 16.
Although the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated it believes that ISIS now effectively controls at least half of the town with over 160,000 people having fled, Afrin leads the Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG) that has been instrumental, thus far, in preventing the full capture of the city.
"Mayssa Abdo, known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin, is commanding the YPG in Kobane along with Mahmud Barkhodan," said the rights group leader Rami Abdel Rahman.
Afrin, who is believed to be 40 years old and hails from the Afrin region of the Aleppo province, is just one of a number of women who have answered a call to duty by joining the peshmerga to fight the Islamic State terrorists.
Women involvement in the fight against the Islamic State plays a significant role in upsetting ISIS militants' mental state because they fear being killed by a woman will result in them being sent to "hell", one 27-year-old female fighter named Tekoshin told AFP.
"I think [they] were more afraid of us than of the men," she said. "They believe they'll go to hell if they die at a woman's hands."
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., in an interview with The New York Post in September also referenced that notion when he climed that Jihadists fear being killed by women because under jihadist law they would be denied the "paradise" they were promised in the afterlife, which also includes a God-given 72 virgins.
"These ISIL soldiers apparently believed that if they were killed in battle, they went to paradise as long as they were killed by a man," Royce said. "And these female soldiers were communicating their satisfaction with the fact that they had taken the fight to ISIL and had stopped the advance, turned back the advance — slayed a number of these fighters, who would then run away,"
One female peshmerga fighter, using the pseudonym Arin Mirkan, reportedly killed dozens of ISIS militants on Oct. 5 after blowing herself up in a suicide bombing outside of Kobane.
"I don't know her exact age but she was above 20. She was a fighter from the YPG," a Kurdish official told AFP. "She threw many grenades at ISIS insurgents. After that, she blew herself up,"
As BBC noted in July, an all-female peshmerga force was training to prepare for action on the front lines against the Islamic State. The battalion's commander, Col. Ahmed Rashid, said that she is seeing many women volunteering to fight for the battalion.
"A lot of women have been volunteering to fight with us at the moment. They join because they want to defend other women in areas of conflict," Col. Rashid said. "They've been trained by SWAT teams and with the special forces. Some have already fought alongside their male colleagues on the front line and I'm sending others to Kirkuk soon."
An all-female peshmerga battalion is nothing new. Rashid said the group was originally founded in 1996 to battle loyalists of Saddam Hussein.