(EDGE) LGBT people and their supporters are fighting the Islamic State militant group in Syria and have formed a unit against the terrorists, according to a report from Newsweek.
A group of international volunteers are fighting with Kurdish forces against ISIS in northern Syria and are labeling themselves the first LGBT military unit. They've called the group The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA). The International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF), an anarchist movement, announced the group's creation Monday.
Taking to Twitter, IRPGF shared a photo of TQILA holding a sign that reads, "These faggots kill fascists." The group also added a statement:
"TQILA's members have watched in horror as fascist and extremist forces around the world have attacked the Queer community and murdered countless of our community members citing that they are 'ill', 'sick' and 'unnatural.'"
Their manifesto goes on to read:
The images of gay men being thrown off roofs and stoned to death by Daesh was not something we could idly watch. It is also not only Daesh whose hatred for Queer, Trans* and other non-binary peoples leads to religiously motivated hatred and attacks.
Christian conservatives in the global northwest have also attacked LGBT*QI+ peoples in an attempt to silence and erase their existence. We want to emphasize that queerphobia, homophobia and trans*phobia are not inherent to Islam or any other religion...
It is this necessity and desire to strengthen the gains of the women's revolution while advancing the Queer struggle that has motivated Queer comrades of the IRPGF to form TQILA.
The formation of The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA), a subgroup of the IRPGF. Queer Liberation! Death to Rainbow Capitalism! pic.twitter.com/Tp1x2PZ079— IRPGF (@IRPGF) July 24, 2017
Newsweek notes its unclear how many people are actually involved in the unit, and how many are members of the LGBT community. A spokesperson for TQILA told the newspaper they could not reveal the information due to security reasons.
"Many of our comrades are within the LGBT*QI+ community," Heval Rojhilat told Newsweek. "We are already fighting in Raqqa."
ISIS has long targeted LGBT people or used homosexuality as an excuse to execute men. There have been several reports of the militant group killing gay men by throwing them off tall buildings and stoning them to death.
Read Newsweek's full report by clicking here.