Syrian army creates new women's unit to fight Isis

New unit of Arab women recruits joins example set by Kurdish female troops fighting extremists in the north of the country  

Thursday 02 February 2017 12:04
Comments
Around 150 women from the Qamishli region have joined government forces in the fight against Isis
Around 150 women from the Qamishli region have joined government forces in the fight against Isis

The Syrian army has created a new battalion solely consisting of female recruits who have signed up for the fight against Isis, local media reports.

Al-Masdar News, which is sympathetic to the Syrian regime, posted a video of several dozen women in combat fatigues and headscarves taking part in target practice and singing patriotic songs on Wednesday.

The battalion, named Khansawat Souria, is made up of around 150 women from towns in Qamishli in the north of the country. It is led by Ba’ath party member Jazya Tu’mah.

Qamishli city itself is a Kurdish centre which has become strategically important during the course of Syria’s civil war. The region has long been fought over by Kurdish, Syrian army and Isis forces.

The newly formed battalion and video appear to have been created in the style of the female units of the Kurdish troops fighting off Isis in the region.

The Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) was set up in 2012 to empower women in the fight to carve out an autonomous Kurdish state in northern Syria, and fight off the extremist groups which have flourished in the chaos of war.

Dozens of Arab and Yazidi women have joined fighting units after their towns have been liberated by the YPJ, inspired by their example.

The number of women in the Syrian armed forces has grown since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011.

The Republican Guard, a unit which defends Damascus, created an all-female section in 2013, which has been nicknamed the “Lionesses of National Defence”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in