Women at War: Meet the Female Peshmerga Fighters Taking on ISIS
According to these troops, the fighters ISIS fears the most wear lipstick.
— -- The fighters that ISIS fears the most wear lipstick, according to these troops. Some even let their long, braided hair fall out behind their hats.
They are the female members of the Zeravani unit, a branch of the Kurdish peshmerga.
The typically female attributes shouldn't detract from the fact that these women are prepared to defend their land from any invader, including ISIS.
ABC News met up with some of the Zeravani women during their training at a Kurdish base outside of Erbil, Iraq.
They receive their instruction from Italian coalition forces: Two months of basic training before a month-long specialized training course.
The women will primarily work as security personnel at embassies and government buildings, but others will be sent directly to the frontlines near Mosul.
No matter where they end up working, the women say they feel a deep motivation to serve.
Many have fathers or brothers who are already enlisted soldiers. Others have lost friends or family members to ISIS and feel compelled to pick up the fight against a brutal enemy. It's an intense patriotism that fuels these women's will to fight.
Sliman Hardman said it was her dream to join the military. "To make our land safe," she told ABC News. "To help our brothers."
Hardam said about half of her family members were serving in the Kurdish peshmerga. She described fighting ISIS near Sinjar for four days.
"Tough women," she said of her fellow female soldiers.
The Italians at the base estimate that there are 1,000 female Zeravani ranging in age from 18 to 40.
The thirty women ABC News met were receiving basic infantry skills like marksmanship and officer instruction.
They also learned first aid, how to perform life support, and how to extract a wounded soldier from the battlefield.
"These women are very, very strong. I love them," one of the Italian trainers told ABC News. "Because they are proud to stay in the Kurdistan army."
They also claim they are very feared by the enemy. A female Zeravani captain said it would be "humiliating" for an ISIS fighter to be killed by a woman.
"ISIS is scared of us!" she said.
The Kurdish peshmerga have been a crucial U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS and have been the most effective indigenous force in the region, according to officials.
Two peshmerga brigades are assigned to help Iraqi Security Forces retake Mosul from ISIS in the coming months.
ABC News' Cindy Smith and Pat O'Gara contributed to this report from Iraq.