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Syria: Kurdish women train to defend "roots", "history and "freedom"01:43

Syria: Kurdish women train to defend "roots", "history and "freedom"

Syrian Arab Republic, al-Qamishli
August 29, 2013 at 19:08 GMT +00:00 · Published

Syria: Kurdish women train to defend "roots", "history and "freedom"

Young women from the area around the Syrian city of al-Qamishli are learning to defend themselves courtesy of the Women's Protection Unit (YPJ). The group is affiliated with the People's Protection Unit (YPG), an armed militia group which is an official part of the governing body of Kurdish territory in Syria known the Kurdish Supreme Committee.

Most YPG and YPJ fighters are currently on the frontlines, so women coming to the training centre mainly learn how to use weapons to protect their homes and families. Training normally lasts 15 days, after which those who have completed the training receive their own weapons.

"We, the YPJ, have our roots in the history of women and, especially, in the thousands of Kurdish women who have fought for freedom," explains Berfin Derik, a YPJ fighter and trainer. "We have taken them as an example and this is the origin of our movement."

Over 100,000 people have died in Syria since 2011, according to the United Nations.

Syria: Kurdish women train to defend "roots", "history and "freedom"01:43
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Syria: Kurdish women train to defend "roots", "history and "freedom"

Young women from the area around the Syrian city of al-Qamishli are learning to defend themselves courtesy of the Women's Protection Unit (YPJ). The group is affiliated with the People's Protection Unit (YPG), an armed militia group which is an official part of the governing body of Kurdish territory in Syria known the Kurdish Supreme Committee.

Most YPG and YPJ fighters are currently on the frontlines, so women coming to the training centre mainly learn how to use weapons to protect their homes and families. Training normally lasts 15 days, after which those who have completed the training receive their own weapons.

"We, the YPJ, have our roots in the history of women and, especially, in the thousands of Kurdish women who have fought for freedom," explains Berfin Derik, a YPJ fighter and trainer. "We have taken them as an example and this is the origin of our movement."

Over 100,000 people have died in Syria since 2011, according to the United Nations.

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