"Female Kurdish fighters announce new training academies for Arab women to take on Isis in Syria.
2016 saw women’s participation in the fight greatly expand, Ms Abdullah said, with the formation of several new military councils designed to encourage the participation of freed Arab and Yazidi women across both Syria and Iraq.
In Manbij in particular, female residents were so inspired by the female YPJ soldiers who helped liberate them they have created their own all-female battalion to retake the neighbouring town of al-Bab.
Two units have now completed training for battle inside the umbrella Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition, Ms Abdullah said, and both a military training academy and college-style institution were being set up for 2017.“Arab people were the predominant residents of the liberated areas. They were impressed when they saw that women participated in military affairs and played a leading role in clashes. This had important consequences…. From Shaddadi to Manbij, many women have joined us,” she said.