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Iraqi women train to defend their homes against ISIS

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Iraqi women are being trained to fight against insurgent attacks aginst Baghdad. (Source: CNN) Iraqi women are being trained to fight against insurgent attacks aginst Baghdad. (Source: CNN)
Capt. Jaffar Hassan, of the Badr Brigade, is training the women during a five-day course on the basics. (Source: CNN) Capt. Jaffar Hassan, of the Badr Brigade, is training the women during a five-day course on the basics. (Source: CNN)
Many of the women at the training know the pain of losing a loved one. (Source: CNN) Many of the women at the training know the pain of losing a loved one. (Source: CNN)
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(CNN) – Residents of Baghdad are taking up arms to fortify the city against any push by the ISIS militants. Many fear insurgents already in the capital will launch attacks. Women are being recruited to fight the militants.

In a palm orchard in Baghdad, women are being trained for the worst case eventuality, that ISIS penetrated the capital, awakening the sleeper cells everyone fears and that they will be left vulnerable.

“When Mosul happened, we all went crazy, we saw that a woman needed to be trained to shoot,” Aliya, a 47-year-old trainee, said. “And all our men are on the frontlines, so it’s up to the women to protect their homes, their children.

Her 25-year-old daughter is with her as well. The women don’t want their identities revealed to the enemy, so they cover their faces for the camera.

The course is run by the Badr Brigade, itself formerly trained in Iran to fight Saddam’s regime.

“I hear ceasefire, I immediately put the safety on and I lower my weapon like this,” instructor Capt. Jaffar Hassan said.

Around 20 to 30 women go through a five day course on the basics.

They are not skills that any of them wanted to acquire, but in a country that knows merciless bloodshed too well, this, at the very least, makes them feel a little bit stronger.

Most know the bitter pain of losing a loved one. It’s evident when they are asked how many have lost a loved one.

Hajer’s father and brother were killed within 40 days of each other in the early years of the war.

"When you look at your children and you look at the situation in the country, as a mother how do you feel about their future?"

"Not good,” Hajer said. “I told you I feel I have a problem in my soul, I have a psychological situation. I have some problems because I am afraid, afraid. Thinking, thinking, thinking, this is make us not in good feelings, this is something about worry from future. If my children go to school, did he will return back? This is something I must thinking about it every day."

And now it has come to this.

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