Reports of female war fighters, particularly snipers, participating in the ongoing fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria have made their rounds in the media since 2014.  Often, these reports contain pictures of a well made-up young woman posed like a swimsuit model with her rifle, and tend to originate in less-than-reputable media outlets like the UK’s Guardian or The Sun with claims about how many ISIS fighters they’ve killed.

However, as SOFREP has reported on in more than one instance, there are real women taking the fight to Islamist Extremists in the Middle East, and their experiences tend to involve more trigger time than eye liner.

Jack Murphy, our editor-in-chief and a former Green Beret, has experience with both types of female soldiers in the Middle East.  Some tend to remain in the rear for photo ops and outwardly directed propaganda (which any war fighting organization will tell you has its own benefits) and others who are battle-hardened warriors, there to fight for their people and beliefs.

I met my first female sniper in an alcove of the apartment building one night. She smiled and shook my hand. I could tell by the way she carried herself that she was a true soldier. I had met many rear-echelon types traveling through Syria who bombarded me with questions and asked to have their photograph taken. But from the way she stood and the way she talked, it was clear that she saw me as just another passerby, and she was a woman with a job to do. She was 18 years old.” Jack recounted in 2016.