Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New combat footage from ISIS, only this time it's footage they don't want you to see.

Screengrab from the video. Vice News. 

New video from Iraq shows and ISIS attack on a Kurdish Peshmerga outpost. But this time it is different. Instead of the propaganda we usually see from ISIS, we see footage that shows a different side to ISIS. Far from the professional videos we have seen before, the footage shows ISIS fighters struggling to fight. The battle occurred in Iraq, 30 miles north of Mosul last month. 

A few warnings before I post the video. First, though there isn't really any graphic content, the video still depicts real life events where people die. If that kind of thing bothers you, don't watch the video. Second, the video has been edited by Vice. Though I am not accusing Vice of being biased, just keep in mind that what you are seeing has been changed slightly. I also have no idea how accurate the subtitles are.

Just in case the video is removed or you can't watch it I will summarize the events of the video. In the beginning, the ISIS fighters say goodbye to a suicide bomber. The bomber then drives away in a bomb truck while the rest of the fighters get ready for battle. The scene then cuts to a improvised armored personal carrier with three fighters, one of which is wearing a helmet camera, and a driver in it. The three fighters fire a machine gun, rifle, an RPG and what looks like an improvised rifle grenade launcher. This continues until a Peshmerga fighter fires a rocket at the APC, killing the driver. The three remaining fighters then retreat and during that retreat the man with the camera is shot. 

The video showed that the ISIS fighters are no where near as professional as people generally perceive them to be. Several times in the video, it was clear to me that these guys were amateurs trying to play war. In a funny moment one of the fighters with a machine gun was firing. His buddies then started to yell at him because his shell casings were flying all over and hitting his friends. Any professional would have fired from the other side of the APC so the casings would have flown out of the vehicle. 

In another moment, one of the fighters was trying to fire an RPG but he had forgotten to take off the safety cap. Before that happened two of the fighters were arguing about trying to find rockets for the RPG and had major problems just trying to find one in the utter mess that was the back of their vehicle. We do see the fighter firing the RPG but he almost blows himself and his buddy up with the back blast. He just barely directed the back blast out of the APC, and even though he got most of it out, enough of it was redirected in that his buddy exclaims that he scorched everyone in the APC. 

I'm not sure if ISIS's tactics were quite sound. I know if I was in that battle I would not have been a happy camper. After the APC was destroyed the fighters were pretty much out in the open having to face an entrenched enemy behind cover. The retreat they pulled off was quite honestly more impressive then the rest of the video. Though rolling around in the dirt looked silly, it was pretty much their only option. And at the end there was a guy running out in the open shooting at his enemy. Probably not too smart but it was pretty brave considering. 

This video is interesting because it clearly shows ISIS losing. In the past ISIS's tactics would have worked well. They were using the same tactics that won them the battle of Ramadi, and helped them win in so many other battles. They followed up a suicide bombing with a light infantry and vehicles. But this time it didn't work. They lost at least two vehicles (notice the one burning in the background about halfway through the video) one fighter KIA and another one wounded. And they didn't take the position they wanted to take. 

It just goes to show that people are finally catching up to ISIS's tactics. Though the tactics that ISIS use are hard to counter, it's not impossible. You just need to do what the Peshmerga did in this video. Don't panic after the initial suicide bombing and then target the enemy vehicles with rockets. This totally broke the ISIS attack, and hopefully we will see more videos like this in the future. 


  1. No one has deleted the video as I write. What a huge difference when compared to U.S. troops. These ISIS fighters are on the verge of panic. This video also shows why ISIS uses so many IED and suicide bombers. They don't have that many trained troops. I am thinking this video shows the level of incompetence of the majority of ISIS fighters. Maybe thats all you can expect when they recruit morons from around the world.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I agree, ISIS just doesn't have all that many trained troops. The problem is that the people they are fighting in Iraq, the Iraqi Army, are even worse. When they come up against better trained fighters, like Iraqi special forces or the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters they tend to lose. As I see it these ISIS troops only did slightly better then untrained civilians would have.