Women train with AK-47 to defend Baghdad against ISIS


shitte women with AK47  baghdadWith one hand, Zahra Hassan clutches a purse that matches her red blouse and skirt trimmed in blue.

In the other, she holds an AK-47.

Peering through her blue veiled hijab, the traditional Muslim head cover, the petite 25-year-old watches as the man in a military uniform with no insignia shows her how to switch off the rifle’s safety, take aim and fire.

Then it’s her turn. In red ballerina flats, she positions herself, levels the AK-47 toward a thick patch of date palms and pulls the trigger. Bang! The feel of the weapon discharging a round startles her a bit.

“Then you turn the safety on and lower the weapon,” the man tells her. She follows his instruction.

This is day one of a five-day course being offered by the Badr Brigade, a powerful Shiite militia with an estimated 10,000 members, to the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of the group.

Hassan is not training to go to the front line to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and its allied Sunni militants, but rather to defend her home if the terror group makes its way into Baghdad and ignites sectarian fighting in the streets.

With most of the men in her family leaving home to volunteer to fight ISIS and its allies, Hassan says she has no choice now but to learn how to fight.

“I must do this,” she says.

More than 450 women have been through the training since the group started it this year, a step that was taken after ISIS began its battle for the flashpoint city of Falluja in Anbar province — a battle that was a bellwether of things to come in Iraq.

And thousands more are waiting, says Maj. Kareem Abdullah of the Badr Brigade, sitting in his office in a fortified compound in Yarmouk, a mixed Shiite-Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad.

The number of women volunteers swelled in June after ISIS seized Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and then began a march on the Iraqi capital, vowing to hit the city of more than 7 million people and overthrow the Shiite-dominated government.

“We are training these ladies to make them ready if (ISIS) makes it into their neighborhood,” Abdullah said.

“They will be the ones who have to defend their home.”

Memories of past violence

Hassan remembers the sectarian fighting — Shiite vs. Sunni, sometimes neighbor vs. neighbor — at the height of the Iraq War that nearly tore the country apart.

Her older brother, 36-year-old Ali Hassan, was among the thousands who reportedly disappeared during the fighting.

The last time she ever saw him was the morning of May 28, 2007, when he left their home in Mahmoudiya, a Sunni-dominated city of about 500,000 people dubbed the “Gateway to Baghdad” because of its proximity to the Iraqi capital.

She doesn’t know what happened to him. But she and her family believe he was a victim of the sectarian fighting.

“Maybe somebody kidnapped him?” she says, looking down at the gun in her hand. “Maybe he was killed in an explosion?”

Ask any of the women, who range between the ages of 14 and 60, at the Badr Brigade training center if their family has a “martyr” — somebody who has been killed in the fighting — and nearly three-quarters of the hands go up.

Ask if any of them know of anybody who’s one, and everybody’s hands go up.

Jaffar Hassan is the man in the military uniform instructing the women. He is not related to Zahra Hassan, but she could be his daughter.

By the time the week is done, he says, the women will be proficient enough to protect themselves and, if necessary, kill.

Teen learning to protect her family

Fourteen-year-old Ageel Fadhil sits against the trunk of a towering date palm, listening to Hassan. An AK-47 lays across her lap.

Her tender age is evident by the white hijab she wears. The other women, all older, wear hijabs in dark colors. Her mother, Shama, already knows how to use the weapon. She is an Iraqi police officer, one of the thousands of women who were trained in such roles when the U.S. military was standing up Iraq’s military.

She also was among the first to complete the Badr Brigade training, and today she is helping to instruct the women at the training center to handle the weapons.

Ageel must learn how to protect the family, specifically her 7-year-old brother Ali, she says. “When her father and I are at work, what is she going to do if someone comes in the house to kill them?”

With school out for the summer, most of Ageel’s friends, she says, are watching television and reading magazines. She asked them to volunteer with her, but only a few did, she said.

When its Ageel’s turn to fire, she moves to the front of the group.

“So I take aim like this, and I get ready to fire,” Hassan says, lifting the AK-47 and leveling it toward the trees. “Then I fire.”

He hands it to Ageel, who follows his instruction. She squeezes the trigger. Bang!

Nice shot, he tells her.

Her mother, wearing a green camouflage headscarf that matches her uniform, smiles at her and gently pats her on her back.

It’s not what a mother wishes for her daughter, Shama Fadhil said. “But in Iraq, this is the reality.”

By the end of the lesson, Ageel appears more at ease with the AK-47, cradling the weapon in her arm — just like she has seen soldiers on the streets do.

But could she kill somebody? Could she point the gun at somebody and pull the trigger?

She thinks about the questions for a moment and then looks to her mother before she answers.




19 responses to “Women train with AK-47 to defend Baghdad against ISIS”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Go Girls Go. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. nagy_michael2 Avatar

    good for them because Iraqi men and Iranian cowards do not show to real battles.. these women are brave and the Ayotallah is still waiting for American the great satan to help save from pathetic jihadists..

    1. $89733098 Avatar

      “Opposition Shia leader Ayatollah Mahmoud Al-Hassani Al-Sarkhi has announced his support for the uprising of the Sunni tribes in Iraq, insisting they have been “oppressed”.”

      Hopefully u r not calling the legitimate uprising as “pathetic jihadists”!!


  3. Ivana Humpalot Avatar
    Ivana Humpalot

    Oh theyre so beauutiful hahhahahhahahahaa

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Is that your latest incarnation Cookie? Tsk.

      1. Ivana Humpalot Avatar
        Ivana Humpalot

        I deactivated my account and any previous ones I had, cause didnt feel like commenting really.

        Then the Gaza war started, so here I am again hahhahahahaha

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          That’s the part that makes me feel the last years of ‘commenting’ on anything here were an absolute loss.
          Except about Scotch, beach-news, and how to fry the Grasshoppers. Useful info, for all. ๐Ÿ™‚
          Hiding out somewhere seems a better idea.

          1. Ivana Humpalot Avatar
            Ivana Humpalot

            I dont mind really, theres always free time. Its just I got bored from it

          2. Nothing worse than a bored brat with too much time on his hands =D

          3. sweetvirgo Avatar

            Are you being mischevous again? ;))))

          4. Moi? Growing up is a trap!! Don’t do it! :):)

          5. Useful info(rmation) is tautology imho, it is like cold ice or wet water)

    2. man-o-war Avatar

      Zionist Shi’ite lober

      1. Ivana Humpalot Avatar
        Ivana Humpalot

        How are you today? heard you had fun in the shower

        1. xx`^` Avatar

          Please tell us about it!:)

          1. Ivana Humpalot Avatar
            Ivana Humpalot

            Oh we have similar names =D

        2. man-o-war Avatar

          It’s another great day! Started my morning off with pancakes, eggs, and BACON. Going to watch the world cup game in a couple of hours and have some cold BEERS.

          The self flagellating was great, but I did get a little aggressive with it. No worries though, humptydumpty volunteered to nurse my wounds. Such a sweetheart!

          1. Ivana Humpalot Avatar
            Ivana Humpalot

            Oh boy, busy day ๐Ÿ˜› Today I ate melon, grapes, watermelon and bit of rice. Going for a walk in a bit.

            I had some fun myself today, prefer it in my bed

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