first published on March 19, 2017 by Sean
Want to see a GoPro propaganda video with no annoying jihadist music and the snackbars getting themselves killed? Because for some odd reason, Al-Qaeda in Syria recently released a propaganda video that strangely manages to accomplish this perfectly. Enjoy, while the jihadist’s attack a defended fortification and get themselves blasted in the process.
From its rapidly shrinking zone of control and in its growing desperation, al-Qaeda in Syria rebranded Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), strangely released an older GoPro video of an assault on a defended outpost from 2015. Probably hoping no one would notice this little discrepancy, the video opens with an atypical rabble of militants and an attack commencing SVBIED.
Pressing forward after the massive detonation and accompanied by a tank, the militants quickly advance to the defensive berms surrounding what appears to be an industrial complex. Once behind the earthworks they automatically switch into “spray aimlessly over the head mode” but only manage to repeatedly draw accurate retaliatory fire from the defenders. Finally, a particularly buffoonish PKM gunner exposes himself once too often and catches an apparent round to the chest. Right in front of the cameraman his feet give out from underneath him, instantly dropping him to the deck and the impact of the round likely ejecting the air from his lungs. His comrades initially pay no heed to their wounded buddy, surprisingly not even attempting to pull him down off the berm.
After a few convenient edits to conceal the fate of the wounded PKM gunner, a lull ensues in the fighting and the HTS militants prepare to advance deeper into the complex. However, as they attempt to enter the outpost the cameraman is directly engaged, and we catch an intensely close call.
Though several jihadists do penetrate the fortifications initially, their attack appears ineffectual and their fates again concealed. Throughout this point in the fight, the defenders have managed to contact supporting units and high-explosive and white phosphorous indirect rounds begin impacting the area. Explosions and fiery bursts of willy-pete menacingly erupt all around the attackers.
Towards the end of the video, the HTS militants finally begin pushing larger numbers of fighters into the complex. But it appears as if the defenders may be retreating and regrouping simultaneously. Presumed heavy weapons and anti-aircraft gun muzzle flashes can easily be observed engaging the HTS attackers as they occupy the outpost.
While it appears likely that HTS initially captures the fortification, it appears similarly unlikely that they held onto it for long. Besides their obvious disorganization, lackluster snackbar shooting skills, and the fact that video cuts out so early, the militants were probably ejected as soon as a counter-attack could be organized. Why they chose such a poor showing for a propaganda video remains unclear. But what is thankfully clear, in this one, there’s no annoying jihadist nasheed.
Graphic Content Warning