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Iraqi women taught rifle marksmanship as ISIL closes in on Baghdad

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Iraqi militias are creating a new line of defense against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL): mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.

The Badr Brigade, a Shiite militia comprised of 10,000 members, is offering a five-day course for women to learn how to use an AK-47 to defend their family while most Iraqi men are on the front lines.

"We are training these ladies to make them ready if [ISIL] makes it into their neighborhood," Maj. Kareem Abdullah told CNN Tuesday during an interview in Baghdad. "They will be the ones who have to defend their home."

"I must do this," Zahra Hassan, one of 450 women who have taken part in the training, told CNN.

The training also includes teenagers. Ageel Fadhil, who is just 14-years-old, joined her mother Shama for the training. Ageel will be tasked with protecting her younger brother Ali, age 7, while her mother is at work.

When asked by CNN if she would be able to kill an attacker, she replied, "If God wills it, yes."

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