Death of beautiful teenage Kurdish fighter sparks multiple debates.

(TFC) – Viyan Antar, 19, was killed fighting Islamic State forces in Northern Syria last month. Undoubtedly, Viyan, like many Kurdish fighters, was gorgeous. Western media outlets sought to capitalize on the death of the “Kurdish Angelina Jolie”. Her photo was plastered all over the media. Her death was used to further the march for war in Syria. Had this been a US soldier, the incident would have been forgotten before her body was cold. In this case, the media’s treatment of the young Kurdish fighter unleashed a firestorm of criticism and sparked multiple debates.

The first and most obvious is the sexualization of a fighter who gave her life fighting in support of a philosophy that seeks to end the sexualization of women. In something glossed over in the rush to create propaganda, the media failed to mention that Viyan was fighting with the YPG, a Kurdish group dedicated to a certain set of ideas. One of the major beliefs is that people are judged by their service to cause of liberation, not their appearance. Casting Viyan as the teenage beauty queen martyred on the alter of fighting the Islamic State betrayed everything she actually fought and died for. It was a travesty of journalism.

Asia Ramazan Antar saw a future for Kurdistan in the turmoil brewing in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. She chose to play out her part in the patriot game and joined the YPG in 2015. Like many Kurds, she adopted a nom de guerre. She became Viyan Antar. She completed basic military training and deployed to the front. She fought in a few major battles and became a team leader. She was apparently skilled with crew-served weapons. She was killed serving along the Turkish border.

Image Source: Flickr - Creative Commons - Kurdishstruggle
Image Source: Flickr – Creative Commons – Kurdishstruggle

Her death occurred at the border of the next issue. When the West doesn’t need a corpse farm for propaganda purposes, what does it care of the plight of the Kurds? Nothing. They are used as pawns on the Middle Eastern chessboard and then left to die. Where is the media coverage of Nudem Durak‘s continuous imprisonment? She was imprisoned for the crime of teaching children to sing in Kurdish. Nudem is also gorgeous. It’s a compelling story. There was no coverage simply because the government imprisoning her is a member of NATO.

While the West is happy to use the bodies of Kurds to promote the agendas it wishes to complete, it constantly stands in the way of their independence, expecting them to play the role of cannon fodder for western hegemony.

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Rather than follow the agenda, TFC won’t be publishing a collection of photos of the “Kurdish Angelina Jolie”. Instead, below you will find photos of some of the other women who volunteered to risk everything in their fight for liberation and freedom. Some of those pictured have already paid the highest price. Some are still on the front lines. They’re all beautiful, but it has nothing to do with their physical appearance. It’s because they have found a calling higher than themselves, and they have chosen to put everything on the line for an idea many believe is hopeless.

To all of the Kurds who have died seeking their liberation, we say şehit namirin.

This report was originally prepared by Justin King for The Fifth Column.