The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Encouraging news from the Mideast is so rare as to deserve focused attention whenever it arrives. The first good news in a long time from Syria comes courtesy of the brave Kurdish peshmerga forces pushing back against Islamic State fighters in Kobani, a tiny place in the country’s northeastern corner, near the border with Turkey.

With the support of the U.S. Air Force, dispatched by President Obama, the Kurds have fought ISIS to a standstill there – and now the United States is airdropping weapons and supplies into Kobani, while the Turkish government has now reversed its policy, letting peshmerga cross their border into Syria to reinforce the town.

It is clear what Kobani represents to the West — an opportunity to inflict a damaging defeat on ISIS — and to the Kurds, whose national aspirations would get a deserved lift from victory (which isn’t at all assured yet). But Henri J. Barkey, a professor of international relations at Lehigh University, points out that Kobani is also becoming an important battlefield for women – both symbolically and literally:

 There is another, rather unique aspect of the resistance that is adding to its mythic character: the role of women in the fight. The juxtaposition of an Islamic State, which enslaves women or covers them from head to toe, with the Syrian Kurds’ Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has large numbers of women fighting and dying alongside men, is particularly striking. Social and other media outlets have brimmed with stories of the heroism and sacrifice of these women. The fighting in Kobani, and especially the emergence of women fighters, has now entered the Kurdish lore and imagination.

And their courage should earn the admiration of all who abhor women’s subjugation.

 

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center, and his cabinet

By Michael Holden and Elizabeth Piper

LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was clinging to power on Wednesday, gravely wounded by the resignation of ministers who said he was not fit to govern and with a growing number of lawmakers calling for him to go.

Keep reading... Show less

By Brendan O'Brien and Tom Polansek

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (Reuters) - The man accused of opening fire on a July Fourth parade near Chicago was charged on Tuesday with seven counts of murder, as police revealed they had reported him as posing a "clear and present danger" after alleged threats to his family in 2019.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}