“One of the most respected Peshmerga commanders on the front lines west of Kirkuk is a mustachioed man named Hussein Yazdanpana. When the Western media noticed he bore a resemblance to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, he became known abroad as “Kurdish Stalin.” Vice-president of the Kurdistan Freedom Party, Yazdanpana is from East Kurdistan, what is called Rojhilate in Kurdish.
Yazdanpana represents a long tradition of Kurdish struggle for freedom. His positions run along the string of Batel hills, with bunkers and firing points dug into the crest. Two mortars are situated behind sandbags. Women Peshmerga, who make up one-third of his unit, stand sentry duty, peering out into the hazy light and earthen hills. Somewhere out there is ISIS.”
— Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, 23 January 2016