Assad's all-female 'Lionesses' train for combat
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
TribLive commenting policy
- Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
- Scientists warn about killer robots
- Turks, Kurdish rebels deepen hostility
- Libyans on death sentences for Gadhafi’s son, others: ‘Who cares?’
- Obama celebrates gains, notes stalemates on visit to East Africa
- French students unearth 560,000-year-old tooth, oldest body part found in country
- Israelis remember how summer conflict affected beach ritual
- Defense secretary touts success of Kurdish fighters in war on ISIS
- Procedure to enforce Iran deal clarified
- Boehner vows to do ‘everything possible’ to scuttle Iran nuclear deal
- Nigerian leader: U.S. law based on alleged human rights violations ‘aids’ Boko Haram