As Kurdish ground forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes, try to defeat ISIS in the Middle East, it can seem that the fighters from the Islamic State are relentless and have no fear. It turns out that there is one thing that ISIS fighters are deathly fearful of.
They are afraid of women.
In the frontlines of northeast Syria exist a military unit comprised entirely of women. This unit of female Kurdish soldiers, known as YPK, is empowered by political officials to fight and take down ISIS.
ISIS fighters believe that when they die they will go to heaven and receive 72 virgins. There is one major caveat.
"They believe if someone from Daesh [ISIS] is killed by a girl, a Kurdish girl, they won't go to heaven," said 21-year-old Telhelden, a commander in the female unit said to CNN. "They're afraid of girls."
Telhelden’s name stands for ‘revenge.’ That’s exactly what her unit has been doing.
The all-female unit recently assisted in capturing the strategic town of Al-Hol. Fifty recent military graduates comprise this small battalion. But women have been playing a part in the Kurdish military for years and they're especially important now because ISIS is afraid of them.
Most of the female soldiers are in their early 20s, but there are exceptions. The unit includes an 18-year-old named Lucia, and a 36-year-old mother named Babylonia who is fighting to protect her children.
"I'm a practicing Christian and thinking about my children makes me stronger and more determined in my fight against Daesh," said Babylonia, per Yahoo News.
These soldiers are internationally recognized for their incredible efforts. Two of them were invited in February to meet with the President of France.
Some of the soldiers, like 18-year-old Ormia, were timid when they first joined the military.
"I was afraid of the noise of cannons firing, but the fear quickly went away," Ormia said, according to Yahoo News. "I would love to be on the front line in the fight against the terrorists."
These brave women are proudly defending their country from ISIS.
Twenty-year-old Efelin giggled when asked if ISIS ever tried to approach their unit.
"If they do, we won't leave one of them alive," she said to CNN.