Hundreds of Yazidi women who were forced by Islamic State into sexual slavery have come together to form an all-female battalion to launch a massive assault against their abusers in Iraq.
The members of the newly formed group, "Sun Ladies," who managed to escape their captors, say they want vengeance as well as safety for themselves and other women, Fox News reports.
The more than 100 women, who are between the ages of 17 and 37, are preparing to launch an offensive on Mosul, the stronghold of Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, for it was in this city that many of them were forced by terrorists to serve as sex slaves.
"Whenever a war wages, our women end up as the victims," Capt Khatoon Khider, a member, was quoted as saying. Recalling the persecution of Yazidi minority, she said, "Women were throwing their children from the mountains and then jumping themselves because it was a faster way to die. Our hands were all tied. We couldn't do anything about it."
She continued, "Now we are defending ourselves from the evil. We are defending all the minorities in the region. We will do whatever is asked of us."
The women fighters have received training from the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and about 500 more are ready for training.
"Our elite force is a model for other women in the region," Khider said. "We want to thank all the other countries who help us in this difficult time, we want everyone to take up weapons and know how to protect themselves from the evil."
There were about 600,000 Yazidis in Iraq, who consider themselves to be Kurds ethnically and live mostly in north-central Ninevah province and northeastern Iraqi Kurdistan. At least 200,000 of them have been displaced by ISIS violence.
Yazidis believe that God governs the world through seven angels with "Malak Tawous," or Peacock Angel, as the leader, who disobeyed God's command to bow down to humanity but was forgiven and made the head angel due to his devotion. Therefore, Yazidis are accused of worshipping the Devil, or Satan, as the leader angel resembles Satan in Abrahamic texts.
ISIS aims to form a Caliphate in the Levant, a region also known as the Eastern Mediterranean, through "jihad," and has asked minorities, including Yazidis and Christians, to flee, convert to Islam, or be killed.
An all-female police force of ISIS earlier released a manifesto which was laced with references to the Islamic scriptures, encouraging girls as young as 9 to marry Jihadis and asking women to remain "hidden and veiled" and serve their "masters.
"It is considered legitimate for a girl to be married at the age of nine. Most pure girls will be married by sixteen or seventeen, while they are still young and active," it said.
In its English propaganda publication, ISIS earlier sought to justify its barbarity, saying it is "Islamic" to capture and forcibly make "infidel" women sexual slaves.
"Before Shaytan [Satan] reveals his doubts to the weak-minded and weak hearted, one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shari'ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur'an and the narration of the Prophet … and thereby apostatizing from Islam," stated the ISIS' propaganda magazine "Dabiq," named after a site in Muslim apocalypse mythology.