The war in Syria against the Islamic State Military group (ISIS) has now gone on for three years. In that time, the extremist Jihadi group has released horrifying images of brutality against gays in Syria: stonings, hangings, firing squads and men thrown from the top of building to their deaths.
In response, a group of international LGBTQ volunteers have formed The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA) to fight with Kurdish forces against ISIS in Northern Syria. TQILA will become a part of the anarchist movement known as the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Force (IRPGF) that have been battling alongside Kurdish forces against ISIS.
It was the IRPGF who released a post on Twitter announcing the creation of TQILA, stating that the new group would work to, “smash the gender binary and advance the women’s revolution and the LGBTQ and gender [revolution].” The announcement goes on to note that the group is a reaction to fascist and extremist forces attacking and murdering those in the Queer community. The IRPGF also notes that Christian conservatives in the global Northwest are also out to silence and erase the existence of LGBTQ people. Women fighting in Syria were singled out in the release as inspiring the group as,”our commitment is strengthened by the revolutionary advances and gains of the Kurdish women’s struggle.”
Heval Rojhilat, spokesperson for TQILA confirmed that the group is already on the frontlines, stating, “we are already fighting in Raqqa,” a city in eastern Syria. Once overtaken by Kurdish forces, Raqqa would become the last largely populated stronghold for ISIS, after they were recently defeated in Mosul. The goal for the Kurds is a, “Revolution in Rojava,” said Rojhilat, in reference to the semiautonomous region in northern Syria that the Kurds hope to create.
The Twitter statement proudly declares that the TQILA directive is to, “Shoot back! These Faggots Kills Fascists!” Like the ancient Greek Sacred Band of Thebes, TQILA was formed to allow gays the right to fight for their country and freedom. As Rojhilat promises, “We will fly TQILA’s flag, the IRPGF’s flag and the rainbow flag.