Via The Guardian — Adnan Hassan, 50, a refugee in Turkey, talks about his niece, Ruhan Hassan.
“Ruhan, 19, wanted to know more about the political rights of the Kurdish people in Syria. She was keen to attend all the national activities organised by the different political movements in Kobani. She was the youngest child of a family with seven kids and limited financial resources, and they could not afford to send her to the city to complete her secondary schooling.
Ruhan was inspired by Abdullah Öcalan’s books about Kurdish women and their rights. She joined the women’s protection force (YPJ) in Kobani in 2013. Ruhan proved to have good fighting skills, and convinced her cousin to join the fight too.
All the fighting forces in Kobani were on alert after the massive attack launched by ISIS against Kobani last September. Ruhan’s father told her that she needed to flee with them to Turkey, and to leave the fight to the men. Ruhan said she preferred to be die in Kobani rather than live under the control of ISIS and be taken as a slave.
Like most of the Kurdish families in Turkey, Ruhan’s family watched Kurdish TV to keep up with the news of the fighting and the names of wounded and martyrs among the Kurdish fighters in Kobani. When the TV announcer read Ruhan’s name amongst the names of the martyrs, Ruhan’s mother jumped out of her chair. The family ran to the Turkish border to go back to Kobani to find out what had happened to Ruhan, but getting back to Kobani was impossible under the non-stop fight with ISIS and the military siege imposed by the Turkish police.
Ruhan’s father kept trying her cousin and other friends for any news of his daughter. Her cousin said that Ruhan had been at the western front of Kobani with three other female fighters firing against ISIS until they ran out of ammunition. They did not want to be taken as prisoners by ISIS so they used their last hand grenades to kill themselves.”