Female Syrian soldiers from the Republican Guard commando battalion sit on a tank during clashes with rebels in the restive Jobar area, in eastern Damascus, on March 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID
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Syrian army turns to women on Damascus front linesPerched on a makeshift bench taking turns with a sniper rifle, the Syrian army's top markswomen await their "prey" on the front line in east Damascus. Samar, 21, belong to the First Women's Commando Brigade of the Republican Guard, an elite unit stationed on some of the most dangerous battlegrounds on the outskirts of the Syrian capital.There are roughly 800 soldiers in these all-female commando brigades, who face determined and entrenched rebels to the east and southeast of Damascus. The building where the women lie in wait is less than 200 meters from rebel lines."It has hit the target," Zeinab says proudly after one 82 mm round causes a terrifying explosion in a building 500 meters away.The 21-year-old says she chose a career in the army after finishing her bachelor's degree. More than 46,000 soldiers have been killed since the conflict erupted in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
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