Jalilia Shikho, 50, has been living in a plastic-sheet tent camp next to a warehouse here close to the Syrian border for four months. When she fled a village near the besieged town of Kobani with her family, her 16-year-old daughter stayed behind to fight. The two were briefly reunited in December after her daughter was brought to Turkey to recover in a Kurdish-run municipal hospital after being wounded in the hand and leg. But after the girl’s clandestine treatment and a brief stay with her mother in the camp, Shikho’s daughter decided to return to the front.
“Girls should go to school, but in Kobani they have to take up arms,” says Shikho with a mix of anxiety for her daughter’s safety and pride in her sense of responsibility to her community. Shikho has had no contact with her daughter since she returned to fighting and has no idea if she is even still alive. While the mother is clearly distraught by the threat to her child’s life, she was unwilling to stand in her daughter’s way in such desperate circumstances.
“ISIS is attacking us but no one is helping,” she said.