Photo published by YPG shows a Kurdish female fighter said to have been killed by Turkey-backed Syrian militia on January 30 in a village north of Afrin, Syrian Kurdistan. Photo: YPG Press
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A graphic video has emerged on social media appearing to show the mutilated body of a female YPJ fighter, allegedly killed in fighting around the village of Qarnah near Bulbul, north of the city of Afrin.
The conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published two videos of the alleged incident.
The footage, captured on a mobile phone, shows the woman’s body spread out on a concrete floor surrounded by gunmen in military fatigues. Her bloodstained clothes have been partially removed exposing her breasts and genitals, parts of which appear to have been cut off.
“This is the pigs of the PKK,” one of the militiamen is heard saying, referring to an armed Kurdish group active in Turkey.
The YPJ is an all-women force that fights alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Another fighter calls her body the “spoils” of war, followed by shouts of Allahu Akbar, God is Great in Arabic.
They speak in Syrian Arabic.
Turkish-backed Syrian militia mutilated the body, according to various sources, including the Kurdish force.
Rudaw cannot independently verify the videos.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Force, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces with male and female units, reported her death without disclosing the circumstances. It identified her as Barin Kobani, whose real name is Amina Omar.
Media linked to the YPG, the People Protection Units, earlier reported she followed in the footsteps of Avesta Khabur
, a female fighter who detonated herself against a Turkish tank.
The local government of Jazira, one of the cantons of the Syrian Kurdistan where the female fighter is said to come from, condemned the alleged incident, blaming it on “Turkish fascist government ... and its mercenaries,” calling it an act “beyond imagination.”
The Kurdistan National Council, ENKS, a coalition of Kurdish opposition groups who have an uneasy relationship with the YPG, also said their “sources” confirmed the incident, but added that the YPJ fighter was captured alive and later paraded in several villages outside Afrin.
Aldar Khalil, a member of TEV-DEM, the ruling coalition of Syrian Kurdistan, denounced the action in a tweet.
“The immoral acts by the terrorists who paraded the body of the martyr Barin Kobani is not new because these [groups] are mercenaries and are a plague on Syria and the region and represent moral decadence,” Khalil said.
Ankara launched Operation Olive Branch on January 20, deploying Turkish troops and their allied Syrian militias to clear the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the northwest Syrian enclave of Afrin.
Turkish forces and their proxies took the town of Bulbul, 30km north of Afrin city, close to the border with Turkey, on Thursday, according to Turkish media. But Rudaw sources in Afrin reported intensive fighting in the town as of Friday morning.
The SDF confirmed clashes have taken place in the Bulbul area and reported they have destroyed a Turkish APC armoured vehicle “and killed everybody inside in an ambush in Qarnah village in Bulbul town.”
They also clashed with Turkish forces in Sahra village on Thursday afternoon, 2km northwest of Bulbul, where “at least 20 soldiers were killed,” the SDF statement claimed.