In a seeming U-turn, the Islamic State (Isis) has reportedly banned women wearing the burka in northern Iraq after claiming that its fighters have been targeted by a veiled female. The hard-line faction has previously beaten and killed women for not wearing a veil covering their face and hair in public.
Now, IS (Daesh) has outlawed women wearing veils entering their security centres near their stronghold of Mosul after a number of commanders were killed by an unknown assailant. In neighbouring Syria, the feared IS al-Hisbah — or 'religious police' — have meted out punishments to woman who left their face uncovered.
Last week, in the occupied Saladin Governorate south of Mosul, IS put out a warning to members to beware of a veiled woman who killed two of their fighters. The attacks happened in Al-Shirqat, which has been under IS control since the extremists overran the region in June 2014.
An IS fighter was also attacked in Mosul, the second most populous city in Iraq, prompting the terrorists to take precautionary measures, according to a source in the province who informed the Iraqi News network. However, claims that the extremists were "surprised" by an attack could not be verified by IBTimes UK.
Sharing details, the source said, "A veiled woman carrying a pistol killed two members of ISIS who were standing in a checkpoint in Sharqat, north of Salah al-Din. The incident surprised the organisation and forced them to issue an alert of similar attacks."
In August, the Syrian city of Manbij was liberated from IS control and scenes of women burning the black clothes they were forced to wear and men shaving off their beards were witnessed. Around 550 women are believed to have entered IS's self-declared caliphate.
Often thought of as "jihadi brides" some have even been used as fighters in the 'Al-Khansaa Brigade', an all-female police force. According to reports from Syria, the Al-Khansaa Brigade was formed "in early 2014 and charged with policing the public morality of women in Raqqa city."