TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Assad's all-female 'Lionesses' train for combat

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Washington Post
Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 9:04 p.m.
 

BEIRUT — The Syrian government is arming and training Syrian women to fight for President Bashar Assad, putting it ahead of the Pentagon when it comes to sending women to the front lines, according to video footage and activists' reports.

A video posted on Russia Today's Arabic channel from the central city of Homs shows dozens of women in combat fatigues marching around a training ground carrying Kalashnikov rifles, performing drills and chanting slogans in support of Assad.

“Be prepared, Syria! Stand up, Assad!” they shout. “With our blood and our soul we protect you, Bashar.”

Their trainer explains that the women are trained to use Kalashnikovs, heavy machine guns and grenades, and to storm and control checkpoints.

The formation of the force comes amid speculation that the regular Syrian army, depleted by defections, desertions and casualties, is being stretched by the effort to suppress Syria's 22-month-old uprising. According to a report in Britain's Independent newspaper, the all-female force, named the “Lionesses for National Defense,” is part of an effort to supplement the army with a national defense force militia made up of civilian volunteers.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. FIFA rocked as U.S. indicts 14 in corruption investigation
  2. 4 Taliban attackers killed in Kabul siege
  3. Islamic State’s takeover of Palmyra puts Syria’s ancient ruins in peril
  4. Ireland voters expected to OK gay marriage
  5. Ireland’s Catholic leaders stunned as voters deliver landslide approval of gay marriage legalization
  6. Islamic State terrorists break into Palmyra museum, Syria says
  7. Relentless heat wave kills more than 1,000 in India
  8. Rocket fired from Gaza Strip strikes Israeli port
  9. Popular tourist spot attacked in Afghanistan
  10. Blair to quit post as U.N. special Middle East envoy
  11. ISIS suicide attacks kill 17 Iraqi soldiers