first published on May 10, 2017 by Will
The Islam Martyrs Brigade use ladders to enter a building while exchanging fire with Assad forces in Darya, Syria during a 2014 battle. The fighters, unsurprisingly, sustain a casualty which could have easily been from a friendly ricochet. The group has since been pushed out of Daraya into Idlib and has joined the ranks of the al Qaeda super group Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and participated in an offensive to capture Hama from the government in early 2017.
Watching these horrendous older videos makes you wonder how many, if any, of these fighters are still alive. Looking back to when this conflict first started, I remember seeing rebels dressing silly and putting on ridiculous shows for the camera and getting killed as a result. While there hasn’t been a visible improvement (or any grasp at all) in basic tactics, there has been a clear change in these rebels’ mentality. The war has lost its appeal of fun, newness, and hope for a positive change. It’s an endless hell for all parties involved, and the fighters just embrace the suck and take it one day at a time, waiting to be blown to bits or horribly maimed. Death, disability, and infection await.