Long before President Trump abandoned the Kurds in northeastern Syria earlier this autumn, leaving them vulnerable to a Turkish Army onslaught, some young British women like Tanja (her nom de guerre) had made their way to one of the most remote parts of the Middle East to fight and serve alongside Kurdish nationals.
In London, Tanja was a bike mechanic. Now the 30-year-old is a Kurdish-speaking medic who evacuates wounded civilians from the front lines, ferrying them to a hospital in Tal Tamr. Four years ago, ISIS invaded the town—a mix of Kurds and Assyrian Christians. Now it is in the path of the Turks.