Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have moved into parts of northern Iraq abandoned by the army in the face of an advance by jihadist-led rebels. The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil met members of an elite female unit as they prepared to go to the frontline.
Morning assembly is in full swing at a military facility on the outskirts of Sulaimaniya, a city in the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
The troops look serious and focused despite the scorching heat of the Iraqi summer.
Standing straight in their fatigues with Kalashnikovs on their shoulders, this looks no different than any other training camp.
But it is the long hair tied back in a bun under caps, and the hint of make-up on some faces, that spells out the difference.
Ready for battle
This female unit of the Peshmerga - the Kurdistan Region's security forces - is undergoing intense training.
Read more and video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28308632Don't piss of the Kurds. You are safer poking Israel.