From Mail Online:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has recruited an army of women to guard checkpoints and carry out security checks in an attempt to plug the holes left by defections and casualties in his dwindling army.
Up to 500 women have been drafted into the new paramilitary force known as the 'Lionesses for National Defence.'
They have been in trained at a boot camp in Wadi al-Dahab in the Syrian city of Homs.
They form part of the recently formed 10,000-strong National Defence Force (NDF), a key part of Assad's counter insurgency strategy, as the president desperately tries to regain control of the country's towns and cities.
Decked out in army fatigues and armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, the women have also been seen guarding areas of Homs where the majority of locals are known to support the government's regime.