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Women Training For Jihad At The Oldest Byzantine Church In The World

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Erica Wenig Contributor
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Aspiring female fighters appear to be establishing a training camp for jihad on the doorstep of the oldest Byzantine church in the world.

A newly-released video shows 40-50 females wielding Ak-47s and marching on the grounds of the Church of Saint Simeon Stylites, near Aleppo in northwest Syria.

The women oppose the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, although show no clear affiliation any jihadi group present in Syria such as the Islamic State or al-Qaida-affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra.

Clad in black burqas, covering everything except the eyes, jihadis are shown raising their guns in the air and shouting “Allahu Akbar!” while walking down a trail.

Partway through the video, participants form a half circle in front of the church. One or two women stand in the middle and fire their weapons off into the distance. Then, female jihadis take turns kneeling down, propping their weapons against a support and firing.

One jihadi says trainees learned how to use weapons in order to “stand in one line shoulder to shoulder with our sons and the men in the battlefields, because the role of the woman is no less important than that of the man,” as reported by the International Business Times,

Simeon Stylites was a monk who reportedly preached atop a pillar for 37 years. The church was only part of a memorial complex built shortly after he died in 459 AD and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

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