Women in the Women's Protection Units train

These are the women who crushed the Caliphate

Updated 9:13 AM ET, Sat February 20, 2021

(CNN)In early 2016, the first time a friend told Gayle Tzemach Lemmon the story of Kurdish Women's Projection Units in northeastern Syria -- also known as the YPJ -- she had two reactions. The first was fascination: How had no one else told the tale of these women, aligned with US forces (and later provided with support by the Trump administration) who were fighting the Islamic State -- a group which routinely kidnapped, raped and murdered women?

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
The second reaction, when an American friend of Lemmon's who had been working with the women's units, urged her, "Come on, you have to see it," was: "No."
As Lemmon explains in the introduction to her new book, "The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice," she had just spent years on books about women and war in Afghanistan: "I was tired of living two lives, the one at home and the one immersed in war," she writes. Lemmon, an adjunct senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and a longtime journalist experienced in reporting from war zones, is the autho