When mothers, daughters and wives have to leave their loved ones to fight for the survival of nations – you know the war has reached its darkest stage. These women, the Valkyries of the modern era, are not afraid to risk their lives, as the stakes this time are very high. The Kurdish female battalion instills fear into the zealots of the Islamic State, holding the line alongside men of the Peshmerga against the extremists. Who are these women? Why are they taking up arms, and what are they leaving behind? We posed these questions to the All-female Peshmerga Battalion Commander, Colonel Nahida Ahmad Rashid.