TribLIVE

| USWorld


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

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

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.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Netanyahu rebuts claim of genocide, accuses Iran
  2. China faces tricky balance in Hong Kong’s protests
  3. Unrest, fatalities challenge shaky cease-fire in Ukraine
  4. Protesters in Hong Kong stand firm in battle to stop encroaching rule by China
  5. Belgium accuses Muslim group of radicalizing, training youth to fight in Syria
  6. Search for victims on hold in Japan as volcano spews toxic fumes
  7. Coalition airstrikes fail to slow ISIS attacks on key cities
  8. Virus traced to mosquitoes in Latin America causes severe joint pain
  9. U.S.-led airstrikes hit 4 Syrian provinces
  10. Afghan president heads unity government poised to sign pact to keep U.S. troops
  11. Airstrikes in Syria to last years
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.