The UK Daily Mail reports that rival terrorists are mocking the Islamic State (ISIS) for “fleeing to Turkey and leaving women to defend their honor” after footage surfaced of female jihadis fighting on the ISIS frontlines in Syria.
“In the footage, believed to show the first time women ISIS fighters have been seen in active combat, one female fighter wearing a burqa and gloves fires an AK47-style assault rifle from behind an earth rampart alongside a comrade,” the Daily Mail writes. “Another clip shows several armed women in the back of a white pickup truck with a male fighter at the side of the cab and an ISIS flag in the bed of the vehicle.”
The video was actually released as propaganda by the Islamic State in an effort to show the terror state is down but not out, still fighting against the United States and its allies despite a year of massive losses on the battlefield.
The video is (rather pretentiously) narrated in English and includes a copious amount of bitter cursing at America and its Kurdish allies. The ISIS “caliphate” is spoken of as though it still exists; militants flash victory signs as the narrator speaks of their triumphant battle in the name of Allah. The participation of female jihadis is portrayed as a sign of the Islamic State’s ferocity and determination, not desperation.
In fact, the military operation depicted in the video was entitled “Revenge of the Virtuous Women,” an offensive supposedly intended to give Islamic State women a chance to seek “revenge for their religion and for the honor of their sisters imprisoned by the apostate Kurds.”
A group of female ISIS militants wrote a letter to the terror state’s leadership last week, insisting that they deserve a chance to fight and die for Allah alongside the males.
“To be brief, and without putting ourselves in the spotlight, our problem is that we are girls! But we are not like other girls! Our concerns are different from other girls,” the intrepid distaff jihadis wrote. “Our concern to raise the flag of ‘There is no God but Allah’ over the shadow of our swords. Death for us is life … and life for us is Jihad!”
“If we have written to you, it is because we want a path to Jihad! And our biggest hope is for death in martyrdom. And don’t say ‘you are girls’ because we know this! But we are girls with the souls of men!” they insisted.
However, al-Qaeda franchise Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham taunted ISIS for making the video and sending women into battle while the leadership runs for cover.
“The Da’eshites turned their back defeated, and their leaders are renting the most luxurious houses in Turkey with shaved off beards like women,” sneered one Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham leader, using another name for the Islamic State.
“They left the emigrated women abandoned, fighting, defending their honor,” the rival terrorist tweeted. “May Allah’s curse be on al-Baghdadi and his group.” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is—or, depending on who you ask, was—the leader of the Islamic State. A theory began circulating in mid-January that he fled to a hideout in Africa, and contrary to persistent rumors of his death, might actually be the last senior member of the Islamic State alive.
Ran Meir of the Clarion Project told the Daily Mail that ISIS would have a hard time spinning the deployment of female fighters as a good thing.
“It was well known while fighting the Kurdish women, ISIS feared them very much because they believed that if you get killed by a woman you won’t get to heaven,” Meir noted. “Now ISIS is using women because they’re in dire need for fighters.”