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‘We Hope for Battle’ : Kurdish Women Fighters strike Fear into Islamic State (ISIS) Terrorist Group in Iraq

In 2014, under Islamic State rule, as many as 7,000 Yazidi women and girls were kidnapped and sold as sex slaves

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On a quiet Monday evening, young female soldiers play volleyball as the sun goes down over their base, a converted schoolhouse.

Not far from mass graves along the side of the road where hundreds of people were killed by IS, the women say they joined up not to fight, but to fight back.

Of all of the victims Islamic State militants have created in this region, Yazidi women arguably have the most reason to be angry.

[bctt tweet=”Roughly 5,000 other people were also killed in an attempt to wipe out the religious sect — an act the United Nations has called a genocide.” username=””]

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“Militants took our daughters and sisters and sold them in other cities,” said Najwa Ali Ismail, a 25-year-old soldier.”I joined the peshmerga to defend my homeland.”

At an all-female base, a peshmerga soldier stands guard on Nov. 14, 2016, in Snuny, Iraq (H. Murdock/VOA)
At an all-female base, a peshmerga soldier stands guard on Nov. 14, 2016, in Snuny, Iraq (H. Murdock/VOA)

In 2014, under Islamic State rule, as many as 7,000 Yazidi women and girls were kidnapped and sold as sex slaves. Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled to the mountains surrounding Sinjar. Thousands died of exposure.

Others were slaughtered in the city and thrown in the mass graves they had been forced to dig. Roughly 5,000 other people were also killed in an attempt to wipe out the religious sect — an act the United Nations has called a genocide.

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As members of the Kurdish peshmerga forces, the women fighters are now preparing for battle — if called upon — with daily exercises and weapons training, according to unit leader Capt. Xatun Ali.

Ali, the original member of the unit, solicited the peshmerga forces for a place in their army after fleeing her home in 2014. She spent nearly two weeks in the mountains before peshmerga soldiers beat back enough jihadists for civilians to flee.

Many starved, she says, and some women chose suicide over rape. After she escaped, her family suggested she flee to Europe, like so many other refugees. But she wanted to stay and fight.

Leaders say hundreds of women have joined the Yazidi brigade, and thousands more have requested to join, Nov. 14, 2016 in Snuny, Iraq. (H. Murdock/VOA)
Leaders say hundreds of women have joined the Yazidi brigade, and thousands more have requested to join, Nov. 14, 2016 in Snuny, Iraq. (H. Murdock/VOA)

Since the IS take over of much of this region, this brigade has grown from one to hundreds, and thousands more Yazidi women have asked to join.

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“Any weapons kind of weapons we use on the frontlines are to defend our daughters and our people. As Yazidis, we do not believe in attacking and murdering people,” Ali said. “But nowadays terrorists are blowing themselves up and killing people. They are like fire. We must fight fire with fire.”

Young female fighters say they they hope to battle Islamic State militants after mass rapes, executions and kidnappings that the United Nations says amounts to genocide, Nov. 14, 2016, in Snuny, Iraq. (H. Murdock/VOA)
Young female fighters say they they hope to battle Islamic State militants after mass rapes, executions and kidnappings that the United Nations says amounts to genocide, Nov. 14, 2016, in Snuny, Iraq. (H. Murdock/VOA)

Ali fought on the frontlines when Sinjar was captured by peshmerga soldiers a year ago. Now her troops are training to defend not just other Yazidis, but also Kurdistan, a semiautonomous region in Iraq.

In the meantime, she says her brigade, like other peshmerga troops, is focused on holding the IS lines back, and healing the ruined towns and cities IS left behind.

“Since the mass graves are on the roadside, people see them and it makes them sad,” she said. “There are people in there from age 1 to 90. We need to move them.” (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?