For the first time since the group’s establishment, ISIS has started to use women in combat roles, The Times (U.K.) reports.
The head of the Sabratha military council in Libya stated that seven female militants have been arrested, and three killed in the western Libyan city this past week. The troop consisted of female fighters and a female suicide bomber.
The mayor of Sabratha had said that customarily, “The women mostly handle the logistics of the battle,” The Mirror reports. However, this incident marks the first case of ISIS’s use of female militants in the frontline instead of in purely organizational positions.
Previously, women invested in the group had been limited to al-Khansaa Brigade, an “all-women police or religious enforcement unit,” controlled by ISIS.
An ISIS official explained the purpose of the group stating, “We have established the brigade to raise awareness of our religion among women, and to punish women who do not abide by the law.”
While the group was responsible for “raising awareness” and “punishing women” they could not enlist in ISIS’s military combat positions.