'Rehana is alive and well... ISIS fanatics have NOT beheaded her': Poster girl for Kurdish freedom fighters escaped Kobane hellhole, friends tell MailOnline
- Photo of female Kurdish fighter became a symbol of Kobane's resistance
- She was seen making peace sign while signing up to fight Islamic State
- Terrorists said they later beheaded 'Rehana', sharing a sickening image
- But friends now say dead woman in photograph fact not actually Rehana
- Claimed she was able to escape Kobane and now lives in southern Turkey
- Do you know Rehana? Email John.Hall@mailonline.co.uk
The female Kurdish fighter who became a poster girl for the Kobane resistance before allegedly being beheaded by Islamic State militants is actually alive and well, it was claimed today.
The woman, known by the pseudonym Rehana, was celebrated as a symbol of hope for the besieged Syrian border city after an image of her making a peace sign was retweeted over 5,000 times.
That picture was followed days later by a gruesome photograph of an ISIS terrorist holding the severed head of a young woman, sparking rumours that Rehana had been savagely murdered.
But now friends of Rehana have told MailOnline that the dead woman in the photograph is in fact a different Kurdish resistance fighter, adding that Rehana managed to escape Kobane during intense fighting there last week and is now believed to be living in southern Turkey.
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Safe: The Kurdish fighter Rehana - who became a poster girl for the Kobane resistance before allegedly being beheaded by Islamic State militants - is actually alive and well, her friends claimed today
A huge cloud of smoke is seen following an American airstrike in the Syrian town of Kobane this morning
Speaking of ISIS' sickening propaganda photograph, a journalist who was based in Kobane as recently as last week said the dead woman is not Rehana but another Kurdish resistance fighter.
'She is my friend and I confirm that she is alive. And the picture of beheaded female fighter is not Rehana's picture,' he told MailOnline, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He went on to say that he saw Rehana leave Kobane during intense fighting there last week, shortly before he was forced to do the same thing.
Although he lost temporarily lost contact with Rehana as they made their separate journeys over the nearby Turkish border, the journalist said he has been informed by friends that she is living as a refugee in Turkey, most likely in the southern Şanliurfa Province.
'She is in Turkey. I will try to gain her number because I lost the connection with her. She evacuated Kobane and I stayed in Kobane. At the beginning of the last clashes Rehana left Kobane,' he said.
Brave: Thousands of Syrian Kurdish women are battling the Islamic State in Syria, many of them in Kobane
MailOnline also spoke to another friend of Rehana's who confirmed the dead woman in the sickening ISIS photograph was not Rehana, who she described as 'the daughter of a martyr'.
'The facial features [of the head in the ISIS photo] are not hers,' she said, refusing to give her name.
However the friend claimed she was not with Rehana, had not seen her since the time the photograph emerged, and no longer had any way of contacting her.
'I can give news on her, but I don't want to talk until I get someone's advice... A person in Kobane has refuted this news [that she is dead], and I'm going to speak to him again tomorrow,' the friend said.
'Everyone's asking about her, using her. And I don't want to talk about her,' she went on to say.
The friends' claims that Rehana is still alive was reinforced by others who says they know Rehana and have spoken to her in recent days.
Among those claiming to have communicated with Rehana is the Syrian/Kurdish journalist Rashad Abdel Qader.
Qader said rumours that she had singlehandedly killed 100 ISIS fighters inside Kobane were untrue, but claimed she was still 'fighting fiercely'.