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Female members of the Islamic State group (IS) are fighting on the front line, a propaganda video has shown, signs that the group is becoming ‘desperate’ to bolster its declining ranks.
In a new propaganda video released by IS, more than five armed women are seen entering the battle with a truck flying the IS flag and fighting alongside male militants in what appear to be clashes along the Euphrates river in Syria.
Nikita Malik, director of the Centre for the Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism at the Henry Jackson Society, told The Independent that IS’ falling numbers means it is “having to rely on every single person”.
“It shows an element of desperation. It’s a big deviation from their initial propaganda that women were homemakers who should take a secondary role.”
While previously, there were isolated reports of female IS members in combat, Wednesday’s video is the first time IS publicly acknowledged women roles in the group.
Had this come out a year or two ago, Malik explained, when the group was at their peak it would have shown a change of tactic. The admission now however “seems to be the last resort because they don’t have enough people,” and shows “weakness.”
Read more on The New Arab