Syria’s war against ISIS is a brutal conundrum; the extremist supporters of a global Islamic state waging war against a totalitarian autocrat, with too many innocents caught between them. But a powerful element of resistance against the spread of ISIS is the Kurdish Peshmerga. These elite fighters in the autonomous Kurdish army are known for their elite training and guerrilla tactics.

The name Peshmerga literally means ‘those who confront death’. Uniquely, the Peshmerga are co-ed, which plays to a unique weakness among ISIS fighters: While ISIS Imams preach that fighters will achieve martyrdom by dying on the field of battle in the name of Allah, being killed by a woman is apparently dishonorable enough to cancel out the martyrdom.

Meet some of the most deadly women on the Arabian peninsula in the video below: