Entering the Hawijia district, towns lay bare, empty and destroyed. Nestled in the desolate landscape is the base for the PAK known as Kurdistan freedom party. This base is specifically for the Female fighters, the PAK female fighters retain their positions eyes and guns pointed towards the frontline. Watching for any movement in the town just 2km away held by ISIS.
Hawija and neighboring areas in southwest Kirkuk have been under Islamic State control since 2014, the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. The Daesh surged through the towns executing dozens of civilians and armed forces.
The Kurdish women are part of a larger armed unit, each woman has her own story for joining the band of women and men in the fight to overthrow ISIS. One fighter explains that she joined the PAK to fight back of ISIS because of the hurt and pain that they had brought to other women.
The female fighters go through six weeks of training that includes target practice and learning how to be a sniper, training is kept up and over watched by the female leaders and Cornel of the PAK.
As the training came to an end, the sun slowly setting in the sky it is not the end of the day for these fighters. Some take over positions holding the base, while others plan logistics.