VICE has obtained helmet cam footage recovered from an ISIS fighter after an intense battle with Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, 30 miles outside of Mosul. The video, which offers a visceral, first-person view of heavy combat, ends with the man who filmed it being shot and, according to VICE, killed.
As VICE rightly points out, the ISIS propaganda wing, comprised of a growing collective of sympathetic media outlets, is prudent in how it represents the group’s battlefield prowess on the internet. Official videos, of which there are hundreds — maybe thousands — typically, if not always, depict ISIS in a state of triumph.
That said, one could reasonably assume that this particular video, which was purportedly filmed in March 2016 and begins with a series of farewells to an ISIS suicide bomber, was not intended for public consumption.
What begins as an ISIS-initiated assault on Peshmerga forces quickly devolves into a turkey shoot, with the jihadists being pinned down in a DIY up-armored vehicle, taking blow after blow until they’re forced to make a desperate retreat. There’s no glory on this side of the fight. Only gruesome defeat.
In April, the Pentagon pledged $415 million to the Kurds to aid their fight against the Islamic State, which has been bolstered by American ground troops and airstrikes since the terrorist group swept through northern Iraq in the summer of 2014. The military campaign to retake Mosul, the Islamic State’s de facto headquarters outside Syria, is widely expected to start before the year’s end.
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.
He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)
The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.