TQILA
TQILA state their intentions loud and clearIPRGF

A specialist LGBT+ battalion has been formed in Syria to fight Isis. The unit, believed to be the first of its kind, is called the The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA, pronounced: "tequila").

It comprises LGBT+ fighters from around the world who have been drawn to Syria to exact revenge from members of the so-called caliphate, which has persecuted gay and trans people remorselessly.

A photo of some of the unit gathered in Raqqa shows them flying the group's flag, a black AK-47 on a pink background, and a banner reading: "These faggots kill fascists".

TQILA is a subsidiary of the anarchist group, International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF), itself a subgroup of the leftist coalition International Freedom Battalion (IFB).

"TQILA's members have watched in horror as fascist and extremist forces around the world have attacked the Queer community and murdered countless of our community members citing that they are 'ill,' 'sick,' and 'unnatural," the TQILA said in a Twitter statement.

"The images of gay men being thrown off roofs and stoned to death by Daesh was something we could not idly watch," it added.

Homosexuality is illegal under the strict Shariah law imposed in Isis held territories. Reports of gay men being thrown off roofs because of their alleged crimes have trickled into the western media sporadically.

In June 2016 American Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to Isis before opening fire on gay nightclub goers in Orlando, killing 49 people. Reports that Mateen was a self-conflicted homosexual have never been corroborated by the FBI.

TQILA logo
The TQILA logo is an unusual colour for the modern battlefieldIPRGF

The IRPGF has only been active since April. The unit fights alongside a medley of mostly foreign communist and anarchist organisations that comprise the IFB.

In turn, the IFB fights alongside the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, which, backed by the US, is slowly degrading Isis in Raqqa. After the loss of Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa represents Isis's last major urban territory.

It is not known how many fighters have enlisted in TQILA. A spokesman would not disclose numbers to Newsweek, citing security concerns.

It is understood the unit will not be entirely composed of LGBT+ personnel. Heterosexual cisgender volunteers will fight alongside them, provided they also "seek to smash the gender binary and... [advance] the broader gender and sexual revolution," according to the group's statement.