AQ in Syria Conduct Insurgent Attack in Regime Held Territory

first published on June 18, 2018 by

An al-Qaeda splinter group operating in the regime controlled coastal province of Latakia have released a purported video of a daytime raid on a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) observation post. The GoPro video documents the jihadists sneaking up on the lackadaisical and ill-prepared soldiers, killing at least two before quickly being driven off.

Adding to the myriad of jihadist groups participating in the Syrian conflict, al-Qaeda in Syria’s latest splinter faction “Huras al-Din” has released a GoPro propaganda video of a daytime raid on a hilltop OP. The video depicts several militants as they creep through the dense brush and advance to the observation post – consisting of several gutted buildings ravaged by a previous battle and a current deadly lack of defensive measures.

Unobserved on the approach, they enter the first building unopposed and immediately climb the stairwell to the higher floors. The camera donning jihadi follows another militant who quietly lurks forward and spots something to their left. He suddenly darts into a room and opens fire on two SAA soldiers casually sitting in comfy looking chairs. The soldiers are killed before they even know what’s happening, much less defending themselves.

Having cleared this first building in the SAA’s position, the AQ members push a short distance to a second. Since it appears abandoned they again rapidly ascend to the higher floors. This yields an abandoned PKM, left on the floor and fully-loaded. The sticky-fingered cameraman grabs the machine gun and immediately turns it on the SAA in the adjacent structure.

A trio of the jihadists finally maneuver on a third house but are finally stalled. They throw several grenades and attempt to advance while suppressing the windows. However, the unknown number of soldiers trapped inside have finally realized the peril of their situation. They fight back, and quickly chase off the attackers. At this point, the AQ members decide it’s time to evac and quickly retreat.

As the regime consolidates its control over former rebel held territory, conventional style warfare has been giving way to increased insurgent activity. Small raids and attacks aimed at isolated units like this one will likely persist and surge. Given this rise in guerilla tactics, the SAA might want to consider taking a tougher defensive posture – rather than leaving a few guys in an unlocked building, sprawled out on some lazy-boys.

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