As the civil war in Syria continues to ravage the city of Aleppo, more women are stepping forward to take up ams. The Mother Aisha battalion is a group of all-female fighters who have joined the Free Syrian Army, a rebel force attempting to dismantle President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Not only does the group actively fight alongside their fellow male soldiers, the Daily Mail reported that they also manage two field hospitals for wounded fighters and a police station for female detainees.
Though the Free Syrian Army has been backed by the United States, the Washington Post reported some members have defected to Islamic State, also known as ISIS. However, the Huffington Post more recently reported that Free Syrian Army battalions were recently deployed to the city of Kobani in order to stop the spread of ISIS.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that about 5,000 women are engaged in military combat and logistics in Syria. One in five fighters in the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) is female, the International Business Times reported. The Mother Aisha group is fighting the likes of pro-government groups and insurgents, like al-Quaeda’s Syrian branch.