A German Woman Fighting ISIS Has Died In Battle

by Lauren Barbato

A 19-year-old German woman who traveled to the Middle East to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was killed in battle last week. She is the first female fighter to die while fighting ISIS. BBC News reports that the female soldier, Ivana Hoffman, was fighting alongside the Kurdish militia when she was killed.

Hoffman reportedly joined the Kurdish Popular Protection Units six months ago, traveling to Syria from her native Germany to join in the ongoing fight against ISIS. The Kurdish militia, known as YPG, confirmed Hoffman's death near the Syrian village of Tel Tamr on Saturday.

The Turkish-based Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, of which Hoffman was a member, also confirmed her death in a statement released on Monday. The MLKP identified Hoffman by her "fighter name," Avaşin Tekoşin Güneş. The party stated that Hoffman was fighting on the front lines of the recent battle, and claimed their fallen comrade was "immortal."

The MLKP said:

Our comrade Avashin had been at the front using her weapons to resist the bloody onslaught of the IS gang against the Assyrian villages in Tel Tamr for days. During these clashes, dozens of gang members were killed. Our comrade Avashin fought to the last bullet together with the fighters of the YPG.

"Our pain is great," the MLKP statement added.

Although she was born in Germany, Hoffman was of South African descent. According to the Associated Press, officials believe she is the third foreign national to be killed in battle while fighting ISIS alongside Kurdish forces. She is also the first-known female fighter to die battling ISIS militants in the Middle East.

Overall, about 40 Kurdish fighters and ISIS militants were killed in the latest battle at Tal Tamr, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The battles in Syria and Iraq continue, with U.S.-led air strikes pummeling ISIS targets and allied security forces on the ground trying to overtake a key region in Iraq. On Sunday, there was also a new development in the case of Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John, the ISIS militant seen in the execution videos of Western nationals.

According to The Sunday Times, Emwazi sent his family in West London a message via a third party. The ISIS militant reportedly apologized to his parents and siblings for the "problems and trouble the revelation of his identity has caused." However, Emwazi did not apologize for the murders of foreign nationals, including Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

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