first published on May 8, 2017 by Josh
On the battlefield, movement without fire is known as suicide. Fire without movement, is known as a waste of ammunition. In Syria, technical vehicles are often seen maneuvering from position to position in order to set up hasty support by fire positions. The support by fire positions allow other rebel fighters to maneuver and close with regime forces in order to engage them in close combat, where their marksmanship can almost be effective.
Unfortunately however, while the Rebel factions may almost be able to grasp the most simple concepts of maneuver warfare, they are still forgetting to share intelligence and information with each other, and sometimes this results in the deaths of their uninformed mobile firing platforms.
If there is anything to take out of this piece of footage, it’s know where your enemy is, and what he can see. A little bit of battlefield awareness goes a long way, and it’s something we see these fighters habitually acting without. It’s very easy to get tunnel vision in adrenaline driven circumstances. As human beings we naturally see everything through a tunnel when our blood is rushing. If these guys had pulled their heads out of the tunnel, even for a second, chances are they would have realized they were moving into their enemy’s line of sight. On top of this, a simple radio call from adjacent units also may have been enough to inform them that they were placing their support by fire position directly within range of a really big regime weapon system.
While the technical itself manages to just barely escape the explosion, at least one of the rebel fighters is completely vaporized. The man in the gray jacket simply had no chance to move before the explosion engulfed him completely. For the rebel operating the heavy machine gun in the back of the truck, things don’t look too good either. As the technical vehicle moves forward to escape, the gunner can be seen checking his stomach. Chances are that he caught a piece of that wall-turned-shrapnel directly in his gut, which probably removes him from the fight completely. Without dismounted security, and a gunner capable of operating the heavy machine gun mounted to the back of the pickup truck, this support by fire mission is over.
There is a lot that can be learned from the failures of insurgent forces operating in places like Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Often their failures are captured by their enemies, and the footage is leaked to the internet as propaganda to showcase their failures. If you can ignore the propaganda portions of these videos, and watch them for the combat footage alone, lessons are easily obtained. We encourage active duty service members serving in a ground combat capacity to use our footage in periods of instruction, and to pull your own lessons out of the videos. If there is specific footage that you would like to use to teach your platoon, feel free to message us on Facebook and we will help you obtain hard copies of the footage in our archives.