(Click “CC” for English subtitles.)
Viyan Peyman, a Kurdish woman fighter with the YPG/YPJ featured in an NBC News report from Kobane in November. This week she was killed in a battle with ISIS near Serekaniye, a town also known as Ras al-Ayn, in northern Syria.
Richard Engel writes: When I saw her lying on her stomach firing through a small hole in a wall in a snipers nest in the town of Kobani in northern Syria, I remember thinking she was one of the strongest and most dynamic women I’d ever met in the Middle East. Sitting among sandbags, the smell of spent rounds hanging in the room, Viyan Peyman told us she was fighting ISIS, but also for women’s rights in the Middle East.
“We stand and fight, especially here in the Middle East where women are treated as inferiors,” Peyman told us. “We stand here as symbols of strength for all the women of the region.”
Peyman wasn’t just a fighter. She was a poet and a singer, a voice of her movement. She sang a song for us about her fallen comrades from the YPG/YPJ, secular Kurdish groups battling ISIS in Syria and demanding greater rights for the Kurdish people.