An all-female unit of Kurdish fighters has been responding to NATO member Turkey’s full-scale operations in Iraqi Kurdistan for over three months. These are women who have organised their own army, called the Free Women’s Units, YJA star for short, which functions as an armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK.
The central command of this armed women’s unit is also composed of women. One of these commanders is Hêzil Özgür.
Özgür recently talked in a special programme broadcast on Sterk TV regarding the ongoing battle with Turkish armed forces in the mountains of Zap, Metina and Avashin, on the soil of northern Iraq, being shelled by Turkish war planes on a daily basis.
“The enemy thought: ‘I will ride roughshod over them with all my technological power and destroy them all’, but they hit a wall and had to go back. This pattern has been repeated over again and again. They come, they hit the wall and they go back.”
Özgür mentioned the status of the Kurdish fighters and how they adapt themselves to the changing circumstances of war.
“We have adapted to many things in order to frustrate the techniques utilised against us. For a Turkish soldier to move 50 meters, or even sometimes just 15 meters on the ground, they need at least three or four scout planes in the air, because their soldiers do not have the will-power to fight against our guerillas. They do not believe in a cause. Such soldiers cannot even be compared to the guerillas.”
She noted the advanced technology the Turkish army utilises and she pointed out that the fight between the Kurdish fighters and Turkey is not a war of equals in terms of the material power they hold. However, she added, Kurdish fighters make up for that with their moral, ideological and psychological superiority.
“They utilise high-tech equipment. This technology they are using may never have been used by a state against another state. They have got stuck at a certain point. They cannot move forward, they cannot go back. If they go back, well, they have been defeated anyway, they need to admit their defeat completely, get all their things and go, because they cannot move forward anymore.”
As a final emphatic point, Özgür spoke about the female fighters and the leading role of the Kurdish women in the war front.
“YJA star has already left a war legacy. Our history is a history of resistance, through which we have created a level of militarisation,” she said.
“Especially in Zagros, in Metina, the pioneering role of women has been really clear. The guerillas of democratic modernity have stepped forward despite their shortcomings. From Zap to Avashin, Hakurke and Gever, the military actions of the women have made a huge impact. In the campaign of Bazên Zagrosê, the women have added a colour to every aspect of the resistance that is not easy to define in words.”