Her name is Joanna Palani and she is a 20-year-old of Kurdish descent. Joanna is understood to have written a message on her Facebook page describing a minor foot injury she picked up during a ‘hard’ attack on the jihadist.
Minutes earlier she had updated the page with a photograph of herself calmly smiling while wearing military fatigues, a bullet proof vest and carrying a large assault rifle – threatening ISIS militants with the words: ‘See you on the front line tomorrow’.
Ms. Palani has become the latest Westerner to join the fight against ISIS in Kobane, where Syrian Kurds assisted by Iraqi Peshmerga troops and US and Arab coalition warplanes have managed to force hundreds of militants out of the center of the city.
Ms. Palani is the latest Westerner to join the fight against ISIS in Kobane (pictured), where Syrian Kurds assisted by Iraqi Peshmerga troops and US warplanes have forced hundreds of militants out the city center
Details of Ms. Palani’s journey to fight ISIS in Syria were reported by the Danish newspaper BT.
Less than a month ago she had made a gave an interview to Politiken saying that she was dropping out mid-way through her college course and intended to join the fight against ISIS in Kobane.
It is likely Ms. Palani, who has lived in Denmark since she was three-years-old, has joined the KurdishYPJ regiment – the all-female force of the better known YPG (People’s Protection Unit). Both groups are affiliated with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), which has been designated a terror
group by NATO, but Ms. Palani makes it clear that she does not agree with this assessment. The US has since removed the Kurds from the terrorist list and is now training and arming them.
‘The Kurds are fighting for democracy and Western values,’ she was quoted as saying.
‘If I get captured or killed, I will be proud of why I was killed. If I was afraid of the consequences of going down there, I would not consider it,’ she reportedly added.
In her earlier interview with Politiken before she left for Syria, Ms. Palani said she would do exactly the same thing had Denmark come under attack by Islamic extremists.
‘I love Denmark. I grew up here and I love the freedom of our society. If Denmark should ever be attacked, I’m going to go in the front row with a Danish flag around my shoulders,’ she was quoted as saying.’But I’ve Kurdish family, and right now it is the Kurds who are attacked by brainwashed Islamists,’ she added. She is far from the first Westerner to join the Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in Kobane.
There have been numerous other reports from Kobane of Westerners travelling taking up arms against the militants – including claims that a number of European biker gangs had ridden to Syria and are helping to assist the resistance.
One of the greatest fears that ISIS fighters have is to be captured or killed by Kobane Female Fighters. Would Allah allow them access to their “virgins” when it was a women who took them out? It is up to “Allah” I guess, said one fighter!
This morning Kurdish fighters captured six buildings from ISIS near Kobane and seized a large haul of their weapons and ammunition, a group monitoring the war said.
The terror group has been desperately trying to capture the town for more than two months in an assault that has driven tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians over the border into Turkey.
The six buildings seized by Kurdish fighters this morning were in a strategic location in the town’s north, close to Security Square where the main municipal offices are based, said Rami Abdurrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
His group that tracks the three-year-old conflict in Syria using sources on the ground.
The Kurds also took a large quantity of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, guns and machine gun ammunition.
The clashes killed around 13 Islamic State militants, including two senior fighters who had been helping to lead the militant group’s assault on the town, he said.
Last week they blocked a road Islamic State was using to resupply its forces, the first major gain against the jihadists after weeks of violence.
‘During the last few days we have made big progress in the east and southeast,’ said Idris Nassan, an official in Kobane.
Nevertheless, Islamic State still appeared to be holding a significant grip on the town. Abdurrahman estimated it controlled more than 50 percent of the city.