Khansa Battalion from A to Z

Khansa Battalion from A to Z

Abdalaziz Alhamza – Exclusive – RBSS 

ISIS militant group formed Khansa battalion in the city of Raqqa since February 2014, , after the occurrence of several assassination operations against leaders in the group, carried out by members of Free Syrian Army, where they were wearing women’s dress imposed by the group, which consists of a veil and so-called “shield”, a black thick cloth extending from the top of the head to the middle of the leg, where free army fighters exploited this outfit to smuggle arms into the city, because ISIS prevents its members from dealing or talking with women.

Khansa play a key role to monitor and arrest women who violate ISIS orders and punish them, Khansa members wore Islamic dress imposed by group, and they can be distinguished by carrying arms, cuffs and wireless fists, and most of them are foreigners married to non-Syrian fighters, they do not speak Arabic, but after the accession of some Syrian women to Khansa, two girls at least were allowed to join each group to speak Arabic, where any woman can join the battalion after undergoing a training camp, including religious lessons, physical training, skills of combat and practicing the use of arms.

the number of this battalion varied between 800 to 1,000 fighters, it’s difficult to obtain accurate statistics because of the increasing of new members on a weekly basis, each female fighter in Khansa receives monthly salary ranges between $700 to $ 1,500, this difference comes being single or married, in addition to the number of children she has, and nationality is one of the most significant advantages of salary increase, American and British and French nationalities are considered in advanced position in the group.

Each fighter can go to the schools of ISIS, they are prevented from dealing with civilian men, except the case of checking a girl with one of her family members, but they are allowed to drive cars, at the time which other women are prevented to do so.

The recent task assigned to Khansa battalion is the offer of marriage from its fighters on the girls in Raqqa, by seducing them by considerable sums of money to accept that, the battalion demanded women who want to marry ISIS fighters to put a white veil under the niqab to be recognizable easily, which prompted a lot of women to wear engagement rings to avoid harassment from this battalion, and they offered large amounts of money on parents to marry off their daughters to ISIS members, unfortunately some families have forced to accept these marriages because of poverty.
Campaign of “Sound and Picture” in cooperation with “Raqqa is being slaughtered silently”, documented 278 cases of compulsory marriage of women most of them under the age of eighteen to foreign fighters, after paying a high dowry to the family of girl, which may up to four thousand dollars, in while the normal dowry is nearly 900 dollars.

Khansa battalion has a bad reputation among civilians, and constitute a nightmare for women in the city of Raqqa, as a result of their practices to provoke people for personal reasons, and most of the new members are from the women who had a bad reputation, some of them have been working at prostitution before the control of the group over the city, but they joined ISIS to get high salaries or after their arrest by the group, where they pledged of allegiance to avoid the application of punishment of stoning.

Faten – Single 26 years – has told reporter of “Raqqa is being slaughtered silently” inside the city about the incident of her arrest by a patrol affiliated Khansa battalion: “a patrol of Khansa stopped me, and claimed that my Niqab is not conformity with Sharia, so they arrested me in Tell Abiad Street in downtown of Raqqa, when I refused to arrest, they beat me with a club such as those were carried by security forces, and put me in car, saying: “God damn you, whore”, I have transferred to a prison dedicated for women, where I was arrested nearly five hours, then I was released after calling my father and forcing me to buy the Islamic dress imposed by the group, in addition to 50 lashes in front of my father and a fine of 10 thousand Syrian Pounds, in the prison where I was, there were many girls for various charges, notably the Islamic dress or hearing her voice or for reasons related to mobile content”.

Khansa battalion invented what called deterrent sanctions to prevent re-irregularities, the most famous of these methods is what called “biter”, a piece of iron bar with pointed teeth resemble trap of hunters, it was being placed on woman’s chest and strongly pressed causing deep wounds, a woman who has arrested and released later mentioned that the worst thing in prison is the biter, where many prisoners are transferred to hospital after the exposure to this penalty, because of the intensity of pain which they suffer even they lose consciousness.

ISIS has inserted Khansa battalion within its war against the international coalition, where the group of “Om Amara” has been formed which led by the British woman “Aqsa Mohammed”, all of their members are foreign women, which used by the group to lure young men and women from Europe to the city of Raqqa, by communicate with them and convince them to come and join the ranks of the group, where the reports refers that three girls who carrying British citizenship have joined ISIS ranks, after communicating with them via the Internet, Shamima Begum (15 years) and Khadija Sultan (16 years) and a third girl (15 years), and they entered a training camp inside a center affiliated to Khansa battalion.

Tem ramadan

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".