Kurdish militia filmed in front line Aleppo battle with Al-Nusra (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)
The footage, shot at night, shows two soldiers from the Kurdish militia firing rounds from automatic rifles from behind improvised barricades in the ruins of the deserted city on Saturday.
The video shows the crumbling remains of what was once a bustling district provide places for the fighters to seek refuge. Meanwhile, one soldier scrolls through images of dead enemies’ bodies on a laptop.
"We are here in Sheikh Maqsood for the freedom of the people, for innocent children. ISIS and Al-Nusra are trying to capture Sheikh Maqsood and we are fighting against them,” Shilayan Fia, a Kurdish fighter, told Ruptly.
It is not just the male fighters who are taking up arms against terrorist groups like Al-Nusra and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). They are being helped by the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ).
Dressed in khaki uniforms, they are actively seen on the streets in Aleppo.
The YPJ was originally formed as a division of the YPG (People’s Protection Units) in 2012 and comprises over 10,000 volunteers who have been fighting alongside their male colleagues to clear Kurdish-populated areas in Syria from IS and Al-Nusra militants alike.
Around 30,000 civilians, living in Sheikh Maqsood, have been on the receiving end of numerous attacks by Islamists. Their plight has become an incentive for many Kurdish women, some as young as 16, to join the Kurdish militias.
“Attacks by those radical groups, led by Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front, have claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. We believe it’s a duty to prevent further bloodshed among innocent people, that’s why I decided to join the battlefront in Sheikh Maqsoud,” Erin Judi, a female fighter with YPJ, told ARA News back in May.
In July, Al-Nusra announced that it was severing ties with Al-Qaeda and would be changing its name to Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham. Its leader Mohamad Golani said that the terrorist group would act “without ties with any foreign party.”
This has failed to convince Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry stating that “no matter how Jabhat al-Nusra calls itself, it will remain an illegal terrorist organization.”
This view was shared by Secretary of State John Kerry. “Nusra is a designated terrorist organization, Nusra is Al-Qaeda, and no name change hides what Nusra really is and what it tries to do,” he said, following a meeting with Russia`s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.
Last year RT broadcast a documentary about the YPJ titled “Her War: Women Vs. ISIS.”