“The message said that whenever they catch any peshmerga woman, they will marry them,” Col. Rashid told The Daily Mail during an interview on Wednesday.
“Even if they are disgusted by her, they will marry her. Even if they don't want to use them. Still, marriage,” she said.
Rashid noted that her female peshmerga fighters are prepared for this possibility, explaining: “I have told all my frontline soldiers to keep one bullet in their pocket in case they are captured. I never want any of them to be captured by ISIS.”
Although Rashid’s own troops have not had to do this yet, she recounted a recent report of a female Kurdish fighter who chose to kill herself rather than be captured and forcibly married to an ISIS jihadi.
“Last week, one of the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) fighters found herself alone and surrounded by ISIS after all her friends had been killed. She shot herself rather than let them take her,” she said.
But Rashid remained unfazed by the threat, saying, “It is a huge tragedy for me to see humans, in the 21st Century, torturing and beheading people like ISIS do[es]. Until the day I die, until the last drop of my blood, I will fight ISIS.”
“These female fighters have played a major role in battles against IS,” Nasser Haj Mansour, a defense official in Syria's Kurdish region, told the Associated Press.
Rashid points out that ISIS militants fear her all-female unit. “They think if they are killed by women peshmergas, they aren't going to go to heaven,” she says. “They want to make us submissive, but they are afraid of us, so they are real hypocrites.”
The BBC reports that Col. Rashid’s unit “was formed in 1996 to fight loyalists of former President Saddam Hussein,” and “is made up of several hundred fighters, all volunteers.”
"A lot of women are volunteering to fight with us at the moment," Rashid told the BBC in July. "They join because they want to defend other women in areas of conflict."
On Saturday, the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga joined in the month-long fight against ISIS in the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani.