SULAIMANI (ESTA) — More than 80 Yazidi women graduated on Thursday from the Kurdistan Region’s Khinis Military Academy in Shekhan district in southeast of Duhok.
As many as 88 female Yazidi cadets received certification in a ceremony held in Shekhan district on Thursday after their graduation from the Khinis Military Academy.
Commander of Zeravani Forces Aziz Waysi said the women would protect the Kurdistan Region’s soil from attacks after fighting Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Sinjar.
“Prestige returned to Sinjar district again. The Peshmerga forces showed miracle by liberating Sinjar from Daesh,” Waysi added, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“The liberation of Sinjar was a gate for Iraq and the region to defeat Daesh,” he added.
Sinjar is home to Yazidi minority who suffered at the hands of Islamic State when it overran the area in August 2014, systematically slaughtering, enslaving and raping thousands.
Kurdish forces backed by U.S.-led Coalition forces retook control of Sinjar from ISIS militants in November 2015. Around 7,500 Kurdish special forces, Peshmerga and Yazidi fighters joined the fight for Sinjar.
Islamic State, made up of Iraqis, other Arabs and foreign fighters, posed the biggest security threat to OPEC oil producer Iraq since a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
“The resolute Yazidi women want to participate in the fight against Daesh & become part of the mission to secure & defend their community alongside their brothers in the frontlines,” Coalition Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said in a tweet.
“We stand in solidarity with the Yezidi community & all victims of terrorism,” Marotto tweeted.