We interrupt our travel blog to bring you these photos published by NBCNews.com today. Our daughter and photojournalist, Erin Trieb, was in Iraq and Syria for the past month. The link below will take you to her poignant story on the Women’s Protection Unit, a 7,000-strong Kurdish military group. It’s a bit humbling to be traipsing around the lush Basque Country of France knowing what these women are going through. We are so proud of Erin for her courage, and for her special talent of bringing the world’s stories to us through her photos.

From NBCNews.com: “In the dry and desolate land along Syria’s northeastern border, thousands of young Kurdish women have taken up arms to protect their people against attacks from Bashar Assad’s government, ISIS militants and the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

Some 7,000 volunteer soldiers have joined the Women’s Protection Unit, or YPJ, which grew out of the wider Kurdish resistance movement. The group is strongly associated with the PKK, an organization fighting for the rights of Kurds in neighboring Turkey that has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department. Alongside Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the YPJ has been battling against Islamic militants who have seized large areas of Iraq and Syria and declared a cross-border caliphate.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/meet-kurdish-women-fighting-isis-syria-n199821