Military Wiki
The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army
Participant in Rojava conflict and the Syrian Civil War
TQILA Emblem.svg
Logo of the TQILA
Active 24 July 2017 – present
Ideology Anarchism
Queer anarchism
Leaders No leader (non-hierarchical organisation)
Area of
Strength Unknown
Part of

International Freedom Battalion


Syrian Democratic Forces

[[File:|23x15px|border |alt=|link=]] TKP/ML TİKKO[3]
United Freedom Forces

  • Women's Freedom Forces

Kurdistan Workers' Party


 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant


Syrian Civil War

The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA) is a queer anarchist armed group and subunit of the International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces formed on 24 July 2017 by LGBT members of the IRPGF, its formation was announced from Raqqa City along with a statement explaining the purposes of its formation in which the response to the systematic persecution of LGBT people by the Daesh is highlighted as one of the main motivations of the group.

TQILA is reported to be the first LGBT unit to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and apparently the first LGBT militia in the Middle East.


The testimonial image of its formation, in which fighters posed alongside a sign with the motto "These faggots kill fascists" and two flags —one belonging to the recent group and an LGBT flag— that was quickly viralized by several western media that, surprised by the paradoxical unit against Daesh, echoed the event with large repercussions.[note 1]

The unit, like the rest of the IRPGF, is a member of the International Freedom Battalion, in one of the testimonial photos is sighted Heval Mahir,[note 2] commander of the International Freedom Battalion, and the marxist-leninist guerrilla TKP/ML TİKKO, holding the LGBT flag. Despite being part of the International Freedom Battalion several media erroneously reported that TQILA could be an official unit of the Syrian Democratic Forces which caused confusion. Following the impact of this mistaken information Mustafa Bali, media director of the SDF, denied such information alleging that there is no an LGBT brigade within the coalition, but does not deny the existence of the same which, indeed, belongs to the International Freedom Battalion.[14]


Ideologically the unit is defined as queer anarchist, in turn they are part of the IRPGF, an anarcho-communist and especifist brigade that claims horizontality, the abolition of the state, the struggle against capitalism, sexism, racism and patriarchy. Also, TQILA affirms that they reject and criticize sexism and homophobia within the revolutionary left. They defend the idea of feminism on the Rojava Revolution, the liberation of women and the impulse of the role of women in society against the traditional gender stereotypes in the region. The group affirms that "TQILA sees this as an opportunity to open up a critical dialogue amongst the revolutionary parties and guerrilla forces about gender and sexuality issues".

In a statement released on 1 August, the group says that they fight for social autonomy, gender equality, direct democracy and worker controlled industries, "is at the heart of the project in Rojava and the goal for an autonomous Kurdistan." They also affirm that they recognize the struggle against all forms of kyriarchy and support the ongoing revolution in the region. Later in the same text they compare the Chiapas rebellion with Rojava, saying that "Rojava seeks to move beyond the traditional nation-state model that is the impetus behind most national liberation struggles".[15]

See also


  1. Newspapers both digital and physical, echoed the news such as HuffPost,[6] The Sun,[7] Newsweek,[8] The Independent,[9] New York Post,[10] Euronews,[11] El Confidencial[12] among others.
  2. Apparent nom de guerre[13]
  1. Moore, Jack (25 July 2017). "First LGBT unit created to fight ISIS in Syria. Its name? The Queer Insurrection". Newsweek. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  2. Kentish, Ben (25 July 2017). "'The Queer Insurrection': Coalition forces fighting Isis in Syria form first LGBT unit". The Independent. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  3. Rojava, TİKKO (13 June 2017). "Rojava'dan Kaypakkaya mesajları". Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  4. "Nueva unidad kurda en Siria promete revolución en Turquía y EEUU - -". 10 May 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  5. Roussinos, Aris (15 June 2017). "Confirmed taking part in Raqqa offensive:". Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  6. Esteban, Nacho (27 July 2017). "TQILA, un mal trago para la homofobia". Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  7. Wilkinson, Matt (25 July 2017). "Armed militia of gay men named The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army are fighting homophobic Isis in Syria". Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  8. Moore, Jack (25 July 2017). "First LGBT Unit 'Created to Fight ISIS' in Syria". Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  9. "Meet the LGBT anarchists who've gone to Syria to fight Isis". 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  10. Lapin, Tamar (25 July 2017). "LGBT soldiers are going after ISIS in Syria". Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  11. "LGBT army unit established to take on ISIL". 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  12. Borja, Rodrigo (27 July 2017). "La milicia LGTB que desafía al ISIS en Siria: "Estos maricas asesinan fascistas"". Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  13. "Twitter de las IRPGF". 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017. "TİKKO guerrilla & new IFB commander Heval Mahir is a dear friend of the IRPGF and supporter of Queer liberation." 
  14. "LGBT unit not officially part of SDF, says Kurdish official". 26 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017. "TQILA, which announced on Twitter its acronym name is pronounced "tequila", is a part of the IRPGF, an anarchist unit and a sub-group of the International Freedom Battalion of foreign fighters formed to assist the SDF." 
  15. "Not One Step Back: TQILA-IRPGF Speaks from Rojava". 3 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 

External links

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