Joanna Palani, then 22, gave up her life as a college student to become a Kurdish fighter in the war-torn country, where she came face-to-face with murderous militants.
With the knowledge of how to shoot a gun, she spent a year battling ISIS on the frontline, teaching other girls how to fight and witnessing the brutal horrors of war.
Now back home, Joanna has told of her experiences from her time abroad – and the striking differences between the Islamic State and President Assad’s ‘killing machines’.
“ISIS fighters are very easy to kill,” she told Vice, laughing. “ISIS fighters are very good at sacrificing their own lives, but Assad’s soldiers are very well-trained and they are specialist killing machines.”
Joanna, from Copenhagen, Denmark, left college in November 2014 to ‘fight for human rights for all people’.
She firstly travelled to Iraq, before moving on to Rojova in Syria.