Portraits of an All-Female Fighting Unit of the Free Syrian Army

Fadwa, 20 years old, widow with 3 children: “My husband died on the front lines, I will die on the front lines, may God help us.”

Photographer Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini brings us more great work from the forefront of the Syrian conflict, this time showcasing women from an all-female fighting unit of the Free Syrian Army based in Aleppo. Strong and with conviction, the women stand ready.

Khansa, 42 years old, married, housewife with 7 children: “I feel optimistic, we will defeat the regime, put an end to poverty and mistreatment.”

Om Ahmad, 72 years old, housewife with 3 children: “My house in Dar’a was destroyed by 2 bombs…I moved to Aleppo with my family, I chose to pick up a weapon and fight the regime.”

Rana, 20 years old, student: “What choice do we have?”

Om Faraj, 30 years old housewife, no children: “Being mistreated by a regime security guard in front of my husband was the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to my family, I picked up a weapon, I joined the fight.”

Amal, 30 years old, married, housewife with 3 children: “I’m sincere to God, that is all I need and want, the rest will come with time.”

Ali, 16 years old, student: “The West sees no problem in Syria, while we beg for their support, our children, friends and family are being punished, for no reason.”

Benifet Ikhla, 27 years old, widow with 6 children: “I fight for life and freedom, I fight to prove that woman and man are equal.”

via TIME

  • Miguel

    They’re Al Qaeda.

  • Angela

    Why do you think they’re AlQaeda? They’re not terrorists, they’re just citizens whose homes, families, and lives have been destroyed by an oppressive government and this is their reaction. It is like our own Revolutionary War. Men and women helped. Citizens were involved, not terrorists. Just because they are covered doesn’t make them terrorists, it is their traditional clothing. Before passing harsh and critical judgment, imagine if your home and family were abused, bombed, and destroyed even though they were innocent.

  • Mero

    Wow, Miguel, since you obviously don’t have a clue about what your talking about, why don’t you go back to reading comic books of whatever.

  • ayanonay

    peace be unto your education Miguel. May you people’s people never know such horror. #617

  • Izzy

    Off course they are Miguel, ask the photographer and he will tell u…
    And ask him how much they paid him and who did.

  • -k-

    Wow – these are really powerful.

  • klc

    I agree, may your people never know what these women have endured. God bless them, that they choose not to hide at home, but take the fight to them that have wronged them and their families.

  • Those are very powerful pictures; mothers with a baby in one hand and a gun in the other. That it has come to this is dreadful enough; children growing up alongside parents who have become combatants, a cache of weapons contained within the community – the prospects for Syria look absolutely dire. I hope a peaceful resolution can somehow be found.

  • Hanna

    What inspirational women…wow.

  • Aymankhoder

    God protect them,it’s been hard for everyone in Syria.

  • Mo

    May they achieve for what they picked the weapon…May nobody in the world faces such circumstances…

  • To Angela

    Exactly the same thing is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq.. the people have held guns and are fighting because their houses are bombed, their children are murdered and their families have been ruined .. in every single possible way weather it’s physical or psychological .. so how does that make them terrorists while they are fighting for their defence and make these staged in a studio women heroes.. these heroes who admit to be fighting for a political movements .. you guys are so fuckin hyprcite and stupid because of the ignorance and the kind of information that your govts inject in your heads .. just like syria in the 80s and 90s the same people who are now called taliban were called as super heroes and freedom fighters and you bunch of sheeps cheered with it because they were fighting a war for the benifit of your country and thn your govt start calling them terrorists and cheerup with them … you guys are all a bunch of losers and I can guarantee non of you can even pin point syria on the map … oh a bunch of women holding babies so suddenly let’s sympathize with them .. how do you know these women are not Iraqi women holding guns against the U.S invaders?

  • Ghulath

    Miguel is right… clearly all Al Qaeda or fighting for some other Islamist front in Syria. Their dress is EXTREMELY conservative, and many are wearing Islamist bandanas. This coupled with the fact that the very large majority of ‘Rebels’ in Syria are in fact Islamist/Jihadist groups – that is a fairly accurate observation.

    These images are BS propaganda, and this whole revolution is a farce. These people just want to turn a once proud, independent, secular Arab state into the next Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Funded by oppressive states like Saudi Arabia, backed by one of the BIGGEST de-stabilizers of the region (and a long time supporter of Islamist movements to achieve that end) – the US. These people are terrorists.

  • Safiyah

    I think Miguel’s comment should be deleted.

  • Fouad

    Hi All, I am Syrian, having no political opinion about the war but to hate it because it is a war. It is beyond the question of whose mistake is it, it is how these children will grow up, what will they do in 5 years, will they love each other or kill each other?
    To answer the question of Al Qaida, these women are wearing Al Qaida flag, regardless the case again, it is violent, a mom can hold a book in the other hand and educate a kid rather than teaching him how to end a human’s life.
    I don’t stand for the regime and i don’t support the revolution, what I care for is my country, my land, having peace. You may ask me ” then what is the solution for the corruption? how can you stop the regime from killing people? what’s next ? my answer is simple : If you want peace, make peace, if you want war, hold a gun, you don’t even have to shoot, the counterpart will shoot anyway.
    I’ve lost people on both sides, family members and friends, friends of friends, people kidnapped, homes destroyed, and now I ask my self, where are we heading? if the revolution wins, when is the violence going to end? ” there’s a religious war underneath what you see ” .. if the regime wins, how will people live from now on ?
    I obviously don’t have any answer, but I pray for my country and people to be safe, and I ask you very kindly to wish for the same.

  • sare

    Only the women know what is in their hearts, but I know this much if anyone hurt my children, threatened my family and bombed my home I would fight too. It is easy to judge, the truth is probably we will never know who is behind everything. All those people who judge them, I pray you never have to face what they have. Things are never just black and white.

  • Mustafa

    U.S. is funding the rebel terrorists. They’re not even from Syria. U.S. has no business in the Middle East. Instead of “helping” others they should be helping themselves because their definition of help is demolishing a country, stealing their natural resources an raping their women. Thanks but no thanks.

  • ena

    Well what your talkin about? They want to fight against the american government and israeli government.

  • Sensationalist photography with no real talent, technique or thought, not mind provoking or powerful but simply unnecessary. Why do you think it is meaningful to show images of a mother with a gun, it isn’t. They are setting a disgraceful example to both their children and the rest of the world, the true warrior would lay down their weapon and fight the real fight not hide behind words and pictures.

  • Jared

    Does anybody remember (The Path To Persia) Policy??????? Assad is a Monster but who are these rebels? Yea this article is nice and i do feel for the Syrian people but did you ever consider The Syrian people don’t like the rebels either. There is a New York Times article out today saying there are no i repeat no secular rebels left. All you acting Miguel Even Obama says some Al Qaida Members there and what about that crazy guy eating a heart I now love Obama he may have destroyed the constitution (NDAA) Etc but at least he is disobeying the war masters you all got played by NATO and the AP its another war for profit and these rebels just like us are nothing more then pawns. Iran will be next

  • Jared

    My grammar was really bad but my point solid

  • mohanad

    These women are wearing traditional islamic clothes.
    You all have to know the difference between muslims and alqaida (they represent less than 0.0001% of 1.5 billion muslims worldwide).
    These heroic womem are helping to free their country from the brutal assad regime.

    Women have always helped their countries in different circumstances in peace and war.
    You cant judge them just because they are wearing traditional islamic veil, they are defending their country and their homes so syrian children have better future.

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