MOSUL — The so-called Islamic State (IS) sends women to fight the Iraqi forces in the western parts of Mosul, where the extremist group is surrounded from all sides.
Female fighters and suicide bombers are becoming increasingly common on the frontlines in west Mosul, according to the Iraqi forces, who have liberated the majority of the western areas and are currently battling the IS militants in Mosul's Old City district, which is the last district held by the extremists.
According to Saif Saad, a sergeant for the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF), the IS insurgents are surrounded from all sides and have nowhere to escape, which has forced them to send women to the frontlines, in desperate hope of pushing away the Iraqi forces.
Saad added that the Iraqi troops expect more women to be used as suicide bombers once the forces enter the Old City. He explained that the female militants use Kalashnikovs and sniper rifles, and blow themselves up if they run out of ammunitions.
The extremist group has further started using female combatants in online propaganda videos, showing them wearing combat clothes and holding weapons. Until recently, women were being kept away from the frontline, but as a result of the increasing pressure from the Iraqi forces, some women have started fighting alongside men, whereas others try and make it through the Iraqi lines with the civilians escaping the battle, fully covered in burqas, in order to hide the explosives attached to their bodies.