‘In Canada, I feel like I’m sucking air’: Canadian woman returns after fighting with Kurds against ISIL

As news reports of Western youths joining ISIL dominated the headlines last spring, Hanna Bohman — once a fashion model, then a sales clerk — ran the other way: away from her cushy life in Vancouver and toward the front lines in the war against the jihadists.

In March, she boarded a plane to Iraq, and spent 10 days trying to get across the border into Syria to join up with the Kurdish women’s defence forces, known as the YPJ.

She had found her calling.