The Western media went gaga when a picture of a Kurdistan fighter Asia Ramazan Antar circulated online. But Antar, who became popular as the Angelina Jolie of Kurdistan, was killed in battling with the Islamic State last month.
The 22-year-old woman fighter had fought with the IS in the Kurdish Syrian city of Quamishli. She was an official of the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units, an all-female military unit that’s fighting against the Islamic militant in Syria’s border with Turkey.
Antar had participated in several key battles with the IS and Turkey-backed opposition forces. Reports have it that she was killed in a battle between the opposition forces, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on August 30, the Daily Mail reported.
But according to a report from the BBC, the Western media’s portrayal of Antar as the Kurdish Angelina Jolie for sharing similarities with the popular movie star who played various female fighter roles, did not sit well with the military unit to which Antar used to belong.
Choman Kanaani, a senior Syrian official of the Kurdish fighters expressed his dismay on how the Western media has portrayed the slain woman fighter. He said the way Antar was portrayed was sexist. Kanaani himself has lost many of his fighters, both men and women.
He said with how the Western media sensationalized Antar for sharing resemblance with the Hollywood star demeans the other women who fought and are still fighting the IS in Syria. He added that this is one of the things that Antar’s unit is fighting against.
“We want to give women their rightful place in society and for them to own their own destinies. Viyan died for these ideals. In the media, no-one talked about the ideals for which she gave her life, nor what Viyan achieved for women in Rojava in the past four years,” Kanaani was quoted as saying by the BBC.