January 27, 2015
Kurdish fighters from Iraq, Syria and Turkey have joined forces to recapture the town of Sinjar in north eastern Iraq.
Forces of the extremist Islamic group ISIS took control of Sinjar, also known as Shingal, in the summer of 2014, killing and kidnapping hundreds of Kurdish Yezidi civilians, including women, and forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes.
Fighters from the Kurdistan People’s worker Party (PKK) based in Turkey, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Syria, and the Shingal Protection Units and the Peshmerga from Iraq have united to fight to regain the town.
Joint Kurdish forces, with air cover from international coalition forces, have regained several parts of the Sinjar area.
This video shows fighters from different Kurdish militias in the towns of Snuny and Sinjar. It also features Peshmerga forces transporting aid to internally displaced Yezidi Kurds on Mount Sinjar.
The footage also shows PKK and YPG fighters entering Iraq through border crossings that have recently been open, as well as interviews with militia commanders.
Shotlist and Transcript
R-L pan of male fighters
L-R pan of male and female fighters
Various/ traveling of military convoy
Wide of children waving YPG flag
Various of convoy entering Iraqi Kurdistan
Various of fighters in military position
Traveling of convoy on the road
Traveling of convoy passing by checkpoint
Traveling of convoy at night
Various/ traveling of streets
Wide of military trucks
SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Man) Brusek Raha, PKK fighter
03:25 – 08:18
“My name is Brusek Raha. I went to Kobani, where I fought alongside my Kurdish brothers against for more than a month. I fought inside the city [of Kobani] and surrounding villages.
ISIS attacked the city [Kobani] and its surrounding villages with heavy and internationally banned weapons. They bombed the city with mortar shells. They conducted suicide attacks, blowing themselves among us. Most of them were not from the area. They were foreigners, from Chechenia, Afghanistan and many other countries. They did not speak Arabic. We did not have heavy weapons, but we had a strong will and determination to carry on with the resistance.
They attacked us with suicide bombings. They were plenty of them. For example, when we were in the villages, they attacked by the dozens, carrying out suicide operations. In the city, the attack was more ferocious, using tanks and various heavy weapons, especially at the eastern front. On the other hand, there was great resistance from the side of our forces, which shook the entire world. Female comrade Arin Mirkan, who blew herself up against ISIS, was a real heroine.
Some of them spoke Arabic. We used to hear over the walkie-talkies. They were experienced in using weapons and sniper rifles. Most of them were from Chechnya and other countries of Europe, as well as Russia.
I was injured on the eastern front of Kobani, near the Hajj Rasho Mosque, when I wanted to help my injured comrades following an attack by ISIS. The sniper was watching me from the top of a building. I was not afraid of becoming a martyr and I was able to rescue one of our comrades. I was taken to a field hospital. We fought for our honor, dignity and land, and we shall carry on our fight to bring life back to Kobani and the Kurdish people. Turkey and the Freedom and Justice Party kept saying that Kobani will fall, but their dream did not come true. Kobani did not fall; it was victorious since the beginning.
and I had to return. Now, I will take part in the campaign to liberate Shingal from ISIS.
We will defend the Kurdish Yezidi people who have suffered so much at the hands of ISIS. Their women were enslaved and sold in the markets of Raqqa, Mosul and elsewhere.
Our mission as fighter of the Kurdish People Protection Forces, which are part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is to defend the Kurdish people in the four parts of Kurdistan and all the people in the region who are victim of injustice. We shall push ISIS out of our land and not allow them to return.”
Wide of warplane in the sky
L-R pan of military vehicles and fighters
SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Woman) Comrade Pervin, a commander in the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ)
08:36 – 12:18
“All of Kurdistan is under attack from this terrorist organisation. Its attacks are especially directed against women and women’s rights. On the other hand, there is a struggle for freedom and justice.
This happened in Shingal, where ISIS assaulted women. It enslaved and sold them in the markets. Our job is to protect women, which is why we are now here, in Shingal. We shall defend Kurdish women as well as all the women in the region from the oppression practiced by ISIS.
We will no longer accept that women be commodity that is sold and bought and raped.
So far, we have sacrificed so many martyrs to accomplish this, as part of our campaign that has been going on for seven months in the Shingal area and the surrounding countryside.
Among our martyrs were Comrade Gian, Comrade Armanj, Comrade Rouny, and a commander in our forces comrade Gian. There have been more than 50 female martyrs. As a result of our comrades’ sacrifices, the city of Shingal has been liberated. The resistance is guided by the ideology of leader [Abdullah] Ocalan and the path of the martyrs. It shal continue despite everything, no matter how strong ISIS is and weak we are.
To obtain liberty for the people, we must take path of resistance and martyrs. Then, we shall surely achieve victory.
Now, everybody knows well who Kurdish women and female fighters are. Here in Shingal we have liberated many towns and made ISIS suffer a lot of losses that they will not forget, especially that were brought upon tem by us, Kurdish women. We shall carry on until the liberation of all our areas from these terrorists.
Currently, fighters from the PKK –Turkey and female fighters from the Kurdistan Women’s Party – Turkey, as well as fighters from Shingal Protection Forces from Iraq, the Kurdish Women, the Kurdish Women’s Protection are taking part in the battles.”
Various of destroyed buildings
SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Man) Unnamed fighter from the YPG (Syria)
12:33 – 13:10
“ISIS fighters wanted to blow up a rigged vehicle here but we were able to detonate it before it reached us. They are trying hard to reach us, but they cannot because we are resisting them very ferociously. We killed so many of them. We are Kurdish resistance factions from Syria, Turkey and Iraq. We are all here on the frontline, fighting this group courageously. We shall liberate Shingal from these terrorists and resist till the last drop of our blood.”
Various of snipers shooting
Various of destroyed buildings. NAT Sound: Gunshots.
Various of military convoy
Wide of military officials, reporters walking at refugee camp on Mount Sinjar
L-R pan/ wide of Peshmerga landing on Mount Sinjar
Traveling of refugee tents