A group of volunteer fighters have joined the ranks of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against ISIS extremists. The group announced the first LGBT brigade formed to combat Islamic State’s (ISIS) jihadists.
The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA, is now fighting alongside Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the group announced in a statement on Monday.
“TQILA’s members have watched in horror as fascist and extremist forces around the world have attacked the Queer community and murdered countless of our community members citing that they are ‘ill,’ ‘sick’ and ‘unatural,’” the volunteer fighters group, International Revolution People’s Guerilla Forces (IRPGF), wrote on Twitter when announcing the formation of the new unit.
The IRPGF includes a group of foreign fighters who traveled to northern Syria to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to combat ISIS extremists.
The YPG is a leading force within the US-backed SDF troops, that are currently locked in fierce clashes with ISIS in Raqqa city–the radical group’s de facto capital in Syria.
The newly formed LGBT brigade said in a statement that its members were driven to join the anti-ISIS military operations after seeing how ISIS radicals targeted their community across the region.
“The images of gay men being thrown off roofs and stoned to death by Daesh was something we could not idly watch,” it said.
“These faggots kill fascists,” a banner held by two soldiers of the group read, according to an image released by the brigade. The image, which was reportedly taken in Raqqa, was released with the caption “#Queers smashing the caliphate.”
The Islamic State radical group has brutally punished dozens of homosexuals to death across Syria and Iraq over the past three years. The group has released a series of propaganda videos showing men accused of homosexuality blindfolded and being thrown off roofs in front of large crowds, and then stoned if they survived the fall.