- The Washington Times - Monday, September 30, 2013

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an umbrella organization of Iraqi insurgent groups operating in Syria, says girls in a village it controls will not be allowed to attend school unless they wear Islamic clothing, a monitoring group said Saturday.

In Tweihineh, “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant… has forbidden girls in primary education and above from attending school unless they wear fully Islamic clothing including an abaya (gown), gloves and a veil,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Boys also were told to dress in what ISIS considers Islamic clothing, Agence France-Presse reported.

The news comes two days after ISIS fighters torched statues and crosses inside churches in the city of Raqa.

The main Syrian opposition National Coalition condemned the violence.

ISIS “is outside the Syrian revolution and does not at all represent the Syrian people’s aspirations,” the coalition said, according to AFP.

UNICEF said this month that more than 3,000 schools have been damaged or destroyed since the war began, and nearly half of Syrian children are not in school.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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