first published on April 27, 2018 by Sean
Al-Qaeda in Syria rebranded Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militants film themselves receiving accurate indirect fire during an Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attack. The peculiar propaganda release intends to show its viewers brave and loyal fighters resisting the regime. In stark reality, it shows them getting smacked down.
A recent propaganda video release by HTS attempting to present its extremist members as steadfast holy warriors, but in reality, it really only shows the increasingly desperate and depleted militants be hammered by its adversaries.
Beginning in an evidently HTS occupied defensive position, a GoPro donning militant moves along a series of trenches and between several sandbagged fighting positions. Him, and a few of his jihadist brethren engage a yet unseen SAA element attacking their redoubt.
The small cadre of HTS fighters seem unusually lightly equipped compared to previous videos. Sporting only AK’s, PKM’s, and RPG’s – a DShK emplacement and mount remain oddly vacant and there are no jihadist “technicals” with mounted AA guns supporting them.
The cameraman continues to move from position to position, ending up a few meters from an RPG gunner. The gunner attempts to turkey peak above the berm but gives away his position in the process. Accurate gunfire dramatically and audible whizzes just inches over his head. A few seconds later an enemy mortar, or possible 30mm grenade arcs over the berm landing just a few feet from both men. Peppered by the first round and now in the fetal position, a second round explodes on the top of the berm. Possible dead or almost certainly severely wounded, the video conveniently cuts.
After this edit, the video returns to the original fighting positions. The cameraman begins readying several RPG launchers near an IDF bunker a few meters behind the line. A high explosive round suddenly impacts just a few feet away knocking him to the ground with a loud yelp. The now bloody militant scrambles to his feet and him and his comrades make for the safety of the bunker. The video conveniently concludes with an ominous SAA tank approaching the HTS lines.