- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A popular Yazidi singer has recruited a group of women to take on Islamic State militants and seek revenge against the terrorists who have abducted, raped and slaughtered thousands of the embattled ethnic group’s members in Iraq.

Xate Shingali has recruited 123 women ages 17 to 30 to form the Sun Girls battalion. All of them risk being killed or held as sex slaves if they are caught by the terrorist group, the Daily Mail reported.

All of the recruits seek revenge against the Salafist militants who have targeted the Yazidi community in their drive for a caliphate straddling Iraq and Syria.

“Even if they kill me, I will say I am a Yazidi,” one of the youngest recruits, Jane Fares, 17, told the British newspaper.

Ms. Shingali, 30, who performed traditional Yazidi folk music in northern Iraq, was granted special permission by Kurdish President Masoud Barzani to form the female fighting unit in July.

Ms. Shingali said male Kurdish soldiers are training the women to use AK-47s to combat fighters for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

“We have had only basic training, and we need more,” Ms. Shingali said. “But we are ready to fight ISIS anytime.”

She said she hopes European countries will send the women more weapons and airplanes to help them battle the Islamic State.

Ms. Fares recalled escaping from Iraq’s Sinjar Mountain region with her brother and sister when the terrorists laid siege to the entire region. She said her family is proud of her decision to join the Sun Girls and that she was happy to fight alongside Kurdish peshmerga forces.

“Before, I was scared. Now I cannot be scared of them,” Ms. Fares said, the Daily Mail reported. “Any second they tell us to fight ISIS, I am ready. … I hope to kill them all.”

Ms. Shingali said the group’s name comes from the Yazidis’ belief that the sun protects them and “the sun is something holy.”

She also joked about a rumor in the Yazidi community that Islamic State fighters were scared of being killed by women because they would not be rewarded with “72 virgins in heaven.”

“ISIS will never go to heaven,” Ms. Shingali said. “We will kill them.”

Islamic State militants have killed more than 5,000 Yazidis and captured up to 500 women and children since August 2014, when the terrorist group stormed their villages in Sinjar province in northern Iraq.

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