first published on June 19, 2017 by Josh
A conventional infantry squad is made up of a number of small units known as fire-teams. Inside of these small units, members of the team are given specific tasks that allow the fire-team to maneuver. Generally speaking, a fire-team will have a small unit leader who takes commands from the squad-leader, one or two basic riflemen, and a member who operates some sort of light machine gun that is utilized to help the fire-team maneuver through direct fire support. With this basic set-up, a 3 fire-team squad is prepared to conduct maneuver operations against a superior force, as long as they are trained to operate together.
In non-professional units and paramilitaries, the dream of an organized squad is something that doesn’t exist. The best examples of this that we have seen in recent years is in action camera footage coming out of the Syrian Civil War, where all sides of the conflict are far from professional, and even farther from being a trained and competent force on the battlefield.
Often, we will see units in the Syrian Civil War attempting to thrive on the chaos of battle. This inshallah style of warfare is the only thing that has really allowed any unit success, as they helplessly throw bullets, bombs, and bodies into their enemy’s meat grinder with the hopes of finding success. Sometimes they find it, other times they find death and confusion with the success they were seeking.
What you’re about to witness is an uncoordinated attack from a group of Free Syrian Army fighters directly into a Syrian Arab Army position. The attack, which is clearly a planned advance, is an absolute mess because the leadership within the unit is completely absent and decisions are only being made at the individual level. With this style of fire and maneuver, long pauses and lulls in the momentum are ever-present and it’s a miracle that the Free Syrian Troops aren’t completely wiped out by the defending force.
At multiple points during the advance, the chaos is completely uncontrolled. Several FSA troops are grievously wounded in an explosion, and simultaneously a number of other FSA fighters go into full retreat leaving them behind. It isn’t until they accidentally begin to consolidate their position that the fighter wearing the camera makes the decision to go save one of the injured fighters who has had his leg broken at an awful angle by the blast and falling debris.
Shortly after this, the casualty collection point is spotted on camera as well. Zero aid is being rendered to the wounded, and instead all of the FSA fighters who aren’t injured are in a static firing position exchanging rounds with the Syrian Arab Army troops fruitlessly.