Coalition airstrikes, including British attacks, have also played an ‘instrumental role’ in driving back the jihadists, according to a local commander.
Major General Sardar Karem said: ‘At any time we have a risk and great threat we let the coalition know and they will bring planes to bomb Daesh.’ Outlining the need for British help, he said: ‘We consider our people as a force acting on behalf of the British and the rest of the world.
We shed our blood instead of them but we need their equipment and we need their weapons.‘It is important people understand what is happening here and how dangerous the situation is because if we do not stop them here there could be more attacks in Europe.
Lt Col Lane said many of the peshmerga fighters could not leave the frontline and, even when on leave, had to work as taxi drivers to earn money.
He said: ‘The existential threat here is the economy.
The Ministry of Peshmerga doesn’t have a budget.‘If money is an issue and also your numbers are an issue then they don’t want to bring the guys in off leave to do training because they are earning money. We take the training not on the forward line but just behind it. I’m proud to say we, the UK, pioneered this and now we’ve got the Dutch following and working with us and other nations looking to do the same.’In Sinjar, west of Mosul, trained fighters decommissioned 5,000 IEDs with no casualties.
Lieutenant Colonel Oz Lane, the commander of the 80-strong UK training unit, said: ‘What the female peshmerga are really proud of is their war fighting skills.
Now it is about showing them what they can bring in terms of operational capability on the battlefield, in addition to just being really good at fighting Daesh.
The female peshmerga are noted for their bravery and teenagers are desperate to join the fight.
Susan Mohammed Rashid, 16, who lives in a refugee camp for Syrian Kurds just outside Erbil, said: ‘When I am 18 I want to join the peshmerga.
I am very strong and I do weights in my spare time to get ready.’ Soldiers from 1st Battalion, The Rifles, are giving three-week basic infantry courses to the women’s battalion near the frontline in Erbil, northern Iraq. Pictured, a graduation Lieutenant Colonel Jamil Zerv, who is one of two just men in the unit, said: ‘Daesh is a strong enemy so everyone has to fight them. When Daesh hear the peshmerga name, they are afraid.’According to a local guide, Omar Hussein, the women have a major advantage on the battlefield: ‘Daesh are frightened of the female peshmerga fighters because they believe if they are killed by them they will not go to paradise.’ Lt Col Lane said his men were conducting training near the frontline because the Kurdish militias could not afford to stray too far from the combat zone.
Insisting his team was out of the range of IS weapons, he added: ‘The reality is that this is important for the UK, not just because Daesh have an intent to commit something like Paris, now Brussels, in the UK but also because in this country there are 1.2million internally displaced people.
According to a local guide, Omar Hussein, the women have a major advantage on the battlefield as ISIS fighters are scared of them 'because they believe if they are killed by them they will not go to paradise'Peshmerga fighters are being taught sniper skills by 1 Rifles as well as to how to use machine guns and how to defend themselves from attack.
Another unit, 33 Engineer Regiment, is using skills acquired in Afghanistan to teach the fighters how to counter roadside bombs just with drinks bottles.