first published on January 30, 2018 by Josh
All political affiliation aside in this video, as the current climate surrounding the Turks and Kurds is extremely negative regardless of which side you support, can we just take a moment to appreciate the irony and comedy in this specific piece of combat footage? What we have is a group of fighters operating as a Hunter-Killer squad on the look out for tanks. They spot one, and maneuver a very heavy anti-tank guided missile system into place. They then load up the system, and take the shot scoring a direct hit. War cries can be hear from every direction inside of their position as they successfully destroyed their target.
On the other side of the battlefield, we have a completely empty space void of all human life. The night prior, a group of soldiers went out with what is essentially the bounce house from their unit’s mandatory fun day, and fashioned it to look like the silhouette of a tank at distance. The primary objective of the target was to bait out ATGM attacks in order to protect their actual armor, and it worked. The next day, a missile slams directly into the target. There is no large explosion. No loss of life. Only the sound of a missile cutting through fabric, and air escaping the unit mandatory fun day bounce house.
It is unclear exactly where and when this happened, but the video was released by the Kurdish YPG claiming that they had destroyed a Turkish tank. All due respect to the Kurds, but clearly someone was mis-informed as we can very obviously see that this was not an actual tank being destroyed. It is very apparent when viewing this video, that the missile went directly through the target and impacted somewhere in the back where we can see the puff of smoke from the detonation of the missile. I believe that the ATGM team was completely bamboozled in this instance, and I hope that they were able to vacate the area before they were met with stiff resistance from the Turkish military who was surely sitting in an ambush nearby.
Credit is due to the Turks here. This is one of the first instances we have seen of a group actively taking precautions to avoid being slammed by an ATGM. In most cases, we see next to no defensive or offensive tactics being used to punish these teams, as they are generally able to roam the battlefields relatively un-harassed while making precision strikes against key targets of opportunity all over their battle-space. This may be a tactic to place into our toolbox in the event our military is ever forced to face down groups who are using ATGMs quite often.
On that note, here’s the video. It’s pretty funny if you can watch it without concerning yourself with the current political climate surrounding the YPG and the Turkish military.