Kurdish fighters rip open rabbits and snakes with teeth as part of graduation ceremony

Luke O'Reilly
AFP via Getty Images

Kurdish fighters ripped open rabbits and snakes with their teeth as part of a graduation ceremony.

The recruits crawled through freezing cold mud, ripped apart animals with their teeth and smashed blocks with their boots as they finished their training.

Known as the Peshmerga, the Kurdish army were instrumental in defeating ISIS.

Initially they were taken by surprise when the Islamic State attacked Kurdistan, overrunning their positions.

Female fighters crawled through mud (Reuters)

However, they held off the jihadis at the city of Kobane during a brutal four month siege.

Fighters performed training drills (Reuters)

Kurdish fighters were a key element of the Syrian Democratic Forces who captured the city of Manbij from ISIS in 2016.

Soldiers run through freezing water and mud (Reuters)

In 2017 they liberated Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the Islamic State.

Women and men train and fight together (AFP via Getty Images)

Iraqi Kurdistan is a semi-autonomous region of Iraq. Greater Kurdistan stretches across parts Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran and has never been recognised as a state.

After Donald Trump ordered the pull out of American forces in Syria, Kurdistan was invaded by Turkey.