The Syrian regime has started recruiting female soldiers to perform security checks on veiled women.
In the already conflict-ravaged central city of Homs, the recent recruits dressed in their new military uniforms, carried their weapons, guns and rifles and stood at check points in preparation.
“The sight of these girls is disturbing,” Rasha, a Homs resident, told Al Arabiya. “They look like predators and treat every woman that passes by as if she’s a slave or a Jew in the concentration camp.”
Rasha described one of the female guards’ aggressive behaviors; she saw one pushing an elderly lady in the area of Dawar al-Muaslat in central Homs after forcing the senior woman to take off her headscarf.
The soldier’s hostility on the old woman persisted when they stopped the old lady from putting on her headscarf, the resident said.
The incident brings back memories of when the late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad was in power and his brother, Rifaat, was the country’s highest military commander.
Rifaat recruited hundreds of females to carry out different operations including: murder, torture and the intimidation of veiled women. Most notoriously during the Hama Massacre, which the Syrian regime committed leaving up to 40,000 people dead in two-weeks of airstrikes. The vast majority of people killed were civilians.
“I used to hear from my parents disturbing stories about the crimes the Syrian Army committed towards our neighbors and friends, and my family was fortunate enough to flee from their criminal hands,” said 33-year-old Zainab, who is originally from Hama, but now a resident in the capital, Damascus.
Another lady, who wished to keep her identity anonymous, said when she was a kid, she used to avoid passing by the female forces to avoid getting violated and tormented by them.
Meanwhile, some women, who are opponents of the Syrian regime or happen to be victims of the ruling party’s crimes and brutalities, managed to flee the country and join training camps for women in Turkey – where they learned how to carry a weapon and strike back.
The first defected female officer, Zubaida al-Meeki is one of those who fled to the neighboring Muslim country to help train women those women who ended up linking in with the opposition’s Free Syrian Army.