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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
03 Aug 2014

July 2014

"When I was young it was one of my dreams to be a Peshmerga. Many of the men in my family were Peshmerga with the PUK party. They were fighting against the regime of Saddam Hussein for a free Kurdistan and many of them died this way.”

Paxshan Omer, 37 year old, is a Kurdish Peshmerga from Sulaimaniyah. She married when she was 18 years old and has two sons. Her husband died 12 years old, and she has been taking care of her kids ever since.

Paxshan decided to join the Peshmerga in 2003, with the American invasion and the implementation of the “Anti terror war”. She is one of 500 female Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. The regiment, which was founded in 1996, is now ready to go to the frontline to defend the country.

“I know it is hard work and the day I decided to be a Peshmerga I told myself that maybe one day I might get injured or even die and I could not live with my family again. But only God can give you death or life, and so I am at peace.”

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Exclusive Video of Aftermath of Alleg...
Kobani, Syria
By TTM Contributor 9
22 Jul 2014

Kobani, Syria

July 22, 2014

This video shows victims of an alleged chemical attack by ISIS on Kurdish fighters

near Kobani, Syria on July 18 and 19, 2014.

Transterra Media cannot confirm the use of chemical weapons.

At the time, the official spokesperson of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)

Redur Khalil and the Health Minister of the Kobani Canton Dr. Na’ssan Ahmad said that they believed that chemical or biological agents were used.

In the video, what appear to be burns are visible on the bodies of two males wearing military fatigues at a hospital in Kobani.

Dr. Ahmad said that he and his colleagues inspected the bodies and found signs of burning but no bullet wounds or other similar war injuries.

Interviews:

Interview with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) official spokesperson Redur Khalil (Arabic)

00:56 ISIS’s use of chemical and biological weapons in the city of Kobani – in its war on the city of Kobani – is a very sensitive issue and we don’t want to anticipate events.

01:10 The indices that appeared and the traces on the bodies of martyrs and the wounded definitely show that ISIS used unconventional weapons.

01:30 There is a probability that these were chemical and biological weapons.

01:34 A committee of specialized physicians was formed in the Jazeera Canton [autonomous Kurdish district in northeast Syria] and it conducted necessary procedures and medical tests.

01:43 It was proven that ISIS has used biological weapons in its war on Kobani. However, the type of the weapons has not been determined, due to the limited means of the medical labs in the canton and the siege imposed on the city of Kobani.

02:09 There are unremitting attempts by the assigned medical committee as well as calls for [human] rights groups and aid organisations to head to Kobani to supervise this operation and analyze the substance that was used by ISIS in its war on Kobani.

02:32 The medical committee is now carrying out its duties.

02:39 The traces left by [these] weapons include burns on bodies that were not hit by bullets or bomb shrapnel. They were blue and white burns.

03:01 In some places where ISIS used these weapons, YPG members could smell a very weird odor. The smell was not that of gunpowder or explosives, which shows that the weapons used against Kobani in these locations were unconventional.

Interview with Health Minister of Kobani Canton Dr. Na’ssan Ahmad (Kurdish)

03:48 – 04:29

We have experienced war conditions for a while and we have seen a lot of injured people and martyrs, but [until now] we have not seen bodies that were burnt and not wounded.

The bodies had burns on the hands and legs [and other] exposed parts. We do not know what this substance is, because we do not have the necessary means [to analyze it].

In the future, it could be possible to conduct some tests to determine the kind of the substance that was used.

My colleagues who assisted me and I, in my capacity as a supervising physician, came to the conclusion that this substance was chemical and internationally banned.

Shot list:

00:00 – 00:39

The bodies of dead YPG fighters show skin burns but not wounds. The bodies were filmed at the Amal Hospital in Kobani.

03:29 – 03:47

Medical staff and an officer in military fatigues stand near the bodies of two dead fighters at the Amal Hospital in Kobani.

04:30 – 05:17

Close shots of a dead fighter’s body show burns on the face, arms.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
16 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

With a picture of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader, and Iraqi President, Jalal Talbani in the background, female Peshmerga Paxshan Omer adjusts the stock of her Kalashnikov assault rifle in her family home in Sulaymaniah. As well as being a single mother, she is a widow, her husband having died of illness in 2000. Paxshan is one of 500 female Peshmerga fighters who are based at the Farmanday Peshmerga base near Sulaymaniah in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
16 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighter, Paxshan Omer, holds up a picture of her wedding day. She is a widow as husband having died of illness in 2000.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
16 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighter, Paxshan Omer, shows pictures of her and her husband, including several from their wedding day.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
11 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighter Paxshan Omer, shops for clothes at the local bazaar in Sulaymaniah.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
11 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighter Paxshan Omer (Right) and her sister Shanwm, 25, shop for clothes at the local bazaar in Sulaymaniah.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
11 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighter, Paxshan Omer, (Centre) and her sister Shanwm shop for food at the local bazaar in Sulaymaniah.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
07 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighter, Paxshan Omer, listens to a song on her mobile phone as she guards a checkpoint at the Farmanday Peshmerga base. Both female and male Peshmerga train at the Farmandy base located close to Sulaymaniah in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
06 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga Paxshan Omer, sits in a chair as she guards a checkpoint at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
06 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer's rifle leans against a wall as it dries, at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
06 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer cleans her Kalashnikov rifle at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
06 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Rifles, belonging to female Peshmerga fighters, in the armory of the Farmanday Peshmerga base. Paxshan Omer is in charged of keeping the room in order.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
06 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

A general view of the Farmanday Peshmerga base located close to the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniah, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where 500 female fighters are currently based and trained.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Sarhang, 16 (Left), and Mohammad, 17, the sons of female Peshmerga fighter Paxshan Omer, sit on the floor of the family home in Sulaymaniah.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga, Paxshan Omer, watched by her sons Sarhang, 16 (Centre), and Mohammad, 17, talks about her Kalashnikov assault rifle in the family home in Sulaymaniah.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga, Paxshan Omer, watched by her sons Sarhang, 16 (Centre), and Mohammad, 17, talks about her Kalashnikov assault rifle in the family home in Sulaymaniah.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga, Paxshan Omer, and her nephew Bli'nd (20), are seen in the kitchen of her house as they prepare to break their fast during the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female peshmerga Paxshan Omer, watched by her son Sarhang, 16 (Right), and her nephew Bli'nd (20), cooks food for herself and her family as they prepare to break their fast during the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga, Paxshan Omer, prays in her home in Sulaymaniah, where she lives with her two sons.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga, Paxshan Omer, prays in her home in Sulaymaniah, where she lives with her two sons.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan talks to a friend on the phone while she cooks food for herself and her 2 sons as they prepare to break their fast during the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer cooks food for herself and her 2 sons as they prepare to break their fast during the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
01 Jul 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer talks to a friend on the phone as she cooks food for herself and her 2 sons as they prepare to break their fast during the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
29 Jun 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer marches and carries out a rifle drill at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer, with her face still covered in mud used for camouflage, smiles after finishing an evenings training at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

July 16, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer (Right) hands in her rifle at the base armory after finishing an evenings training.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

July 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer (Right) and her fellow fighters hold their rifles in the air and cheer, after completing a hard training session at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

July 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer (Left) and her fellow fighters practice taking prisoners and cover another female Peshmerga with their rifles during training.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Captain Jwan Mohammad, the officer in charge of training the female Peshmerga, uses hand signals to signal a group of female Peshmerga undergoing training.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga wearing camouflage uniforms, complete with grass and a mud-covered Kalashnikovs.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

A female Peshmerga wearing a camouflage uniform, completed with grass and a mud covered Kalashnikov assault rifle, poses during training at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer (Left) uses grass to camouflage her uniform during training at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer (Centre) shares a joke with other female Peshmerga fighters as they camouflage their faces with mud during training.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighters, including Paxshan Omer (37), perform a drill at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighters, including Paxshan Omer (37), perform a drill at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer salutes Captain Jwan Mohammad, the officer in charge of training female Peshmerga.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Paxshan Omer laughs as she sits in a defensive position waiting to ambush an enemy team during training at the Farmanday Peshmerga base.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga fighters aim their Kalashnikov assault rifles at a makeshift defensive position, during training.

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A Day in the Life of a Peshmerga Fema...
Sulaymaniah
By Stefano Carini
28 Jun 2014

June 28, 2014
Sulaymaniah, Iraq

Female Peshmerga, including Paxshan Omer (front row left) stand to attention during drill.