The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army
Participant in Rojava conflict and the Syrian Civil War
TQILA Emblem.svg
Logo of the TQILA
Active24 July 2017 – 24 September 2018[1]
Queer anarchism
Political positionLeft-wing
Motive(s)Fight ISIL and their crimes against LGBT people.
LeadersNo leader (non-hierarchical organisation) Arran McAloon (Apparent leader in The West)
Area of operations Rojava
Part of International Freedom Battalion* IRPGF[2][3]
Allies Syrian Democratic Forces

United Freedom Forces

  • Women's Freedom Forces

Kurdistan Workers' Party

Opponent(s) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War
TQILA Flag.svg
TQILA Logo.svg

The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA) was 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; the systematic persecution of LGBT people by ISIL was highlighted as a significant motivation for the creation 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 — the flag of the group and an LGBT flag — went viral. Western media reported on the unit extensively.[note 1]

The unit, like the rest of the IRPGF, is a member of the International Freedom Battalion. One of the group's testimonial photos features Heval Mahir,[note 2] commander of the International Freedom Battalion, and the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla groups, TKP/ML TİKKO, holding the LGBT flag.

Despite being part of the International Freedom Battalion some news outlets erroneously reported that TQILA was an official unit of the Syrian Democratic Forces which caused confusion. In response, Mustafa Bali, media director of the SDF, denied these claims. He stated that there is no LGBT brigade within the coalition. However, he did not deny the existence of an LGBT brigade within the International Freedom Battalion.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ @IRPGF (4 September 2018). "Final communique from the IRPGF" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Moore, Jack (25 July 2017). "First LGBT unit created to fight ISIS in Syria. Its name? The Queer Insurrection". Newsweek. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  3. ^ Kentish, Ben (25 July 2017). "'The Queer Insurrection': Coalition forces fighting Isis in Syria form first LGBT unit". The Independent. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ Rojava, TİKKO (13 June 2017). "Rojava'dan Kaypakkaya mesajları". @RojavaTikko. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  5. ^ Roussinos, Aris (15 June 2017). "Confirmed taking part in Raqqa offensive:". @arisroussinos. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ Esteban, Nacho (27 July 2017). "TQILA, un mal trago para la homofobia". HuffPost. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  7. ^ Moore, Jack (25 July 2017). "First LGBT Unit 'Created to Fight ISIS' in Syria". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Meet the LGBT anarchists who've gone to Syria to fight Isis". The Independent. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  9. ^ Lapin, Tamar (25 July 2017). "LGBT soldiers are going after ISIS in Syria". New York Post. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  10. ^ "LGBT army unit established to take on ISIL". Euronews. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  11. ^ Borja, Rodrigo (27 July 2017). "La milicia LGTB que desafía al ISIS en Siria: "Estos maricas asesinan fascistas"". El Confidencial. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  12. ^ "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. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ "LGBT unit not officially part of SDF, says Kurdish official". Middle East Eye. 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.

External links[edit]