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Feature - The Women Taking the Battle to ISIS
Newsha Tavakolian
At the command of a charismatic leader, a cadre of female Kurdish soldiers is taking the battle to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

A colorful scarf is all that is left of Cicek Derek, who was 17 when she died a few months ago in the besieged city of Kobani, Syria, where her compatriots were unable to retrieve her body.
Cicek was one of hundreds of young Kurdish female soldiers who have taken up the fight against ISIS. They’re part of the YPJ, or Women’s Protection Unit, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish nationalist movement that has long fought a war of...

Newsha Tavakolian 2015

Cicek was killed at the age of 17 in Kobane. The only belonging...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Derek. Rojava. YPJ flag over the grave of a young female...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Derek. Rojava. Cicek's picture attached to the branch...
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SYRIA. Derek. Rojava. Portrait of Cicek and her mother with a...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Derek. Rojava. Cicek's sister, Rojin, 20, seen during...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Qamishlou. Rojava. People walking past billboard images...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Terbespe. Rojava. People in the local market of Terbespe,...
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SYRIA. Terbespe. Rojava. Institute for Young Revolutionaries...
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SYRIA. Terbespe. Rojava. Institute for Young Revolutionaries...
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SYRIA. Semalka Border. Rojava. Torin Khairegi, 18, in Zinar base....
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. Saria Zilan, 18, from Amuda.
"It's been...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. Suzdar, 21, from Qamishlou, joined YPJ...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Andivar. Rojava. Rokan Rojida, 22, from Amuda: "Four years...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. Portrait of Beritan Khabat, 20, from...
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SYRIA. Andivar. Rojava. Farashin Mehriva, 21, from Qamishlou:...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. Zilan Orkesh, 18, from Amuda. She joined...
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Aijan Denis, 20, from Amuda.
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. Fidan Dilow, 19, from Amuda.
"I joined...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. Baran Osman, 19, from Serikani.
"My...
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SYRIA. Amuda. Rojava. YPJ soldiers at the checkpoint, where identity...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. YPJ members sleeping and watching TV...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. YPJ fighters at their base in Serikani....
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SYRIA. Derek. Rojava. Wounded YPJ members are leaving the Asayesh...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. YPJ members sitting in an armed vehicle...
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SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. YPJ members playing volleyball and other...
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SYRIA. Andivar. Rojava. YPJ fighters during their daily drills...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Andivar. Rojava. YPJ fighters during their daily drills...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Serikani. Rojava. YPJ members during their daily training...
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Newsha Tavakolian 2015

SYRIA. Qamishlou. Rojava. A wedding dress placed outside a bridal...
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SYRIA. Oil field in North Syria. 2015.
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