RUDAW – 4 June 2015 – A new force calling itself The Self-Defense Force has been formed in the ethnically Kurdish area of Syria known as Rojava, according to the group’s leaders. As of now, 4,000 volunteers have already joined the force.
An estimated 25 percent of the volunteers are from the city of Girke Lege, which consists of Kurds, Assyrians and Arabs. “There is no regard for ethnic backgrounds. There are Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians who have joined the force,” a source told Rudaw.Members of the force consist of men and women and they will support the YPG (People’s Protection Units) “It is a comprehensive force. If there were more forces like ours, Shingal would not face such a calamity. Therefore, we formed this force to protect our cities, our children, land and nation,” said a source. The members of the force, who have been trained on weapons for two months, include men and women. “We, as women, thought we should defend our land and dignity,” said a woman who spoke to Rudaw. “If we did not undertake this responsibility, our situation would not be any better than those who already faced the extremists and suffered atrocities, especially against women.”