Nat Geo Irak 4

Smiling In The Face Of Fear

4 weeks ago about 200 women, part of Kurdish forces, fought against Isil in battle over liberating of Sinjar. Sinjar is now liberated although the battle frontline is only 2 km away from the city. The city was completely destroyed, more than 6,000 people have been killed. The main victims, about 15,000 Yezidi women were taken as sex slaves.

After a few days I’ve spent on the battlefield, whenever my eyes glanced with a woman fighter, in any situation, they would crack a broad smile. At this bleak and ominous place, it was only good I could see. From day to day.

Azidi is 16 years old, and she is fighting in the YBS forces. She is the biggest victim of this war. Although she managed to avoid capturing, she is for two years continuously participating in military operations. She has a life, but she lost her childghood. She has a smile, too, which can erase the haunting images of the corpses still laying on the streets, destroyed houses, ominous buzzing of flies, and fear. My fear. Everything that surrounds us. She has a smile that shimmers in the sun. She has a AK-47. And it seemed to me, that she has nothing more.

Photos by Zoran Marinovic