Êzîdxan Women's Units

Êzidxan Women's Units
Yekinêyen Jinên Êzidxan (YJÊ)
Participant in Iraqi Civil War (2014–present)

Flag of Sinjar Women's Units
Active 2015–present[1]
Ideology Democratic Confederalism,
Yazidi regionalism,

Berivan Aslan (chief commander)

"Koçber"[2] (Manbij commander)
Headquarters Sinjar, Nineveh Governorate, Iraq
Part of Sinjar Alliance
Originated as Sinjar Women’s Defense Units (YPJ-Sinjar)

Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ)
Protection Force of Sinjar (HPŞ)
Free Women's Units (YJA-Star)

Women's Protection Units (YPJ)
Opponents  Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Battles and wars

Iraqi Civil War (2014–present)

Syrian Civil War

The Êzidxan Women's Units (Kurdish: Yekinêyen Jinên Êzidxan or YJÊ) is a Yazidi all-women militia formed in Iraq in 2015 to protect the Yazidi community in the wake of attacks by the Islamic State and other groups that see all Yazidis as pagan infidels.[3]

YJÊ are women fighters trained by the Kurdistan Workers' Party guerillas to defend themselves against Islamist extremists.

An offshoot of the mixed-gender Yazidi militia Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ), the YJÊ was founded on 5 January 2015 under the original name of Yekîneyên Parastina Jin ê Şengalê (Kurdish: Sinjar Women’s Protection Units), or YPJ-Sinjar.[1] The militia adopted its current name on 26 October 2015.[4]

The organization aligns with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's feminist concept of Jineology,[1] and with the broader concept of Democratic Confederalism as advocated by the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK).[5][6]


In October 2015, the YJÊ participated in the foundation of the Sinjar Alliance as an all-Yezidi joint commando umbrella structure. Besides their mixed-gender pendant, the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ), the formerly Peshmerga-aligned Protection Force of Sinjar (HPŞ)[7] and other, independent Yezidi units committed to the united Yezidi front.[8]

Under the joint command of the newly founded Sinjar Alliance, the Êzidxan Women's Units took part in the November 2015 Sinjar offensive.[9]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "YPJ-Sinjar founding meeting held". DİHA. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Manbij operation will continue until ISIS is completely expelled". ANF News. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  3. Moroz, Sarah. "The women taking on Isis: on the ground with Iraq's female fighters". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
  4. "YPJ Shengal changes its name to YJÊ". Fırat News. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  5. FLANAGIN, JAKE (13 October 2014). "Women Fight ISIS and Sexism in Kurdish Regions". The New York Times – The Opinion Pages. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  6. "On patrol with the Sinjar Resistance Units". Reuters. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  7. "Yezidi forces form alliance against IS". Êzîdî Press. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  8. "Independent Yezidi units join Shingal alliance". Êzîdî Press. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  9. "Shingal: KurdInnen starten mit vereinten Kräften Großoffensive gegen IS". Kurdische Nachrichten (in German). 12 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
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