It’s come to this. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has run out of men to protect him. So now he’s going to be protected by women.
Dressed in fatigues and armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, the
female recruits – the “Lionesses for National Defence” – are part of a
new paramilitary force. They have already been deployed in Homs, where
they have been spotted guarding areas where residents still largely
support the regime. Videos from both opposition and pro-government sites
purport to show members of the all-female unit in action.
women are part of the recently formed National Defence Force (NDF),
which appears to be a key component of the Syrian state’s counter
insurgency strategy. The regime is struggling to gain the upper hand in
the street battles that have devastated large areas of the country’s
cities and killed thousands of its soldiers. Rebels are holed up in
several neighbourhoods of Homs and the capital’s southern suburbs.
Rami, a spokesman for the Syrian Revolution General Commission in Homs,
first saw the female recruits about five days ago at Tadmour Circle on
the outskirts of an Alawite area, before another activist returned to
film them. The shaky video, which appears to have been filmed secretly,
shows around half a dozen armed women guarding a major intersection.
was very surprised, it’s the first time we have seen this,” he said. “I
think it’s an excuse to make the FSA [Free Syrian Army] kill women and
then show the world as propaganda, but anyone with a weapon is a
He said the women were also seen in the Wadi
al-Dahab area, where some 500 recruits are reported to be receiving
training at a military base.
In scenes reminiscent of parades by
former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s female bodyguards, a video
uploaded on to a pro-regime YouTube channel at the beginning of the
month shows about a hundred women marching in front of a portrait of the
president. The NDF, which includes male recruits, is expected to have
I’m sure Asma al-Assad is thrilled.
Hitler was progressive with gender opportunities too