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Women Fighters Take Forefront of Middle East Conflict

Women Fighters Take Forefront of Middle East Conflict

Women fighters are becoming more prevalent on both sides of the conflict in the Middle East.

According to Christian Today, Syrian women have joined together to form the “Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers” with the goal of fighting the Islamic State.

The women who are part of the organization have completed military training at a camp in Al-Qahtaniyeh. The women are described as wives, mothers, and professionals, and are especially focused on protecting Christian areas.

"I'm a practicing Christian, and thinking about my children makes me stronger and more determined in my fight against ISIS," one fighter named Babylonia, who graduated with the first class in December, told Agence France Presse.

Fox News reports that this month the all-women volunteer unit began work on the front lines fighting the Islamic State.

The Islamic State also has women fighting for them. They have reportedly recruited women as suicide bombers, promising them paradise if they sacrifice themselves. 

The Islamic State women fighters, known as the Al-Khansa Brigade, were initially recruited as “Sharia police” who were charged with monitoring other women and looking for violations of Sharia law. The women are now being forced to recruit suicide bombers or to carry out suicide bomb attacks themselves.

“Whether based on need or a twisted take on progressivism, ISIS is working hard to emphasise that its cause transcends social status and gender barriers," said Prof. Shaul Gabbay, executive director of the Denver-based Global Research Institute.

"ISIS will recruit from any social strata, and using female terrorists in general and suicide bombers in particular is only going to increase,” he added.

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Publication date: January 20, 2016