As the civil war in Lebanon rages on, daily taking its toll of lives, women are joining their menfolks in taking up arms -- and fighting alongside them s trained soldiers.
CU: Falangist flag, PULL BACK TO GV: flag flying over tent.
SV: women military instructor hands rifle to trainee woman soldier, and SV other women trainees watch. (2 shots)
SVS and CUS: women trainees in rifle fire practice. (6 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO GV: trainees running in exercise.
SVS: trainees in mock assault. (3 shots)
GVS: trainees taking cover and firing during mock assault. (3 shots)
GVS: trainees 'storming enemy position' in mock assault. (2 shots)
GV: trainees marching 60 back to camp.
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Background: As the civil war in Lebanon rages on, daily taking its toll of lives, women are joining their menfolks in taking up arms -- and fighting alongside them s trained soldiers.
SYNOPSIS: The Falangists, one of the right-wing mainly Christian factions fighting against left-wing Moslems, even have a special unit -- the Lebanon Women's Army. The force, founded four years ago, had about one hundred women fighting for it.
The women are all volunteers, some as young as 15. They go through two months intensive training, including weapons handling, commando instruction, and battle strategy and practice. They receive no pay -- AND contribute towards their own food and ammunition supplies. The better shots among them are trained as snipers.
The camp, set in a scenic mountain area overlooking East Beirut, the Christian sector of the divided city, is self-sufficient. It's all-women instruction staff are battle-hardened veterans of the 17-month old civil war. Some of the instructors lost husbands, brother and fathers while fighting alongside them.
While the Lebanon Women's Army continues training new fighters, putting them through mock attack on imagined enemy positions, the war rages on. Fierce fighting continued between right and left-wing forces over the weekend amid fresh Arab League efforts to introduce a new truce -- the fifty-fifth-cease-fire. And while the war continues, women seem determined to play their part in the spectacle of death.