15 Jul 2013 09:00
In northern Syria near the city of Ras al-Ayn, young Kurds have been prepared for battle at the Kurdish People’s Defense Forces (YPG) training camp. Here, teenagers and young adults are trained to conduct guerilla warfare against any threatening enemy. They have also been educated and inspired by the philosophies of Abdullah Ocalan, who is one of the founding members of militant organization the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK). Unlike the typical Syrian opposition fighter, these trainees are fighting for a democratic society based on Marxist-Leninist philosophies. Most YPG soldiers believe that after President Bashar al-Assad falls, an all-out war against every faction involved is imminent.
One young female, Ahsi, said on her first day of training for the Kurdish Women Defense Forces, "'We train to defend ourselves. We never attack. We do not want FSA/Nusra forces here. We also don't want Assad's forces. We just want to be free."
Training of these young rebels came in before recent fighting in the city where the Islamist fighters were pushed out of Ras al-Ayn by Kurdish forces on July 17.