The so-called Islamic State regularly release videos of their fighters—it’s an important cog in its powerful propaganda machine. The slick videos often imitates famous Hollywood films and video games, making their fighters look strong and painting war as glamorous.
A violent and graphic new video suggests the reality is anything but.
Footage from a GoPro camera mounted to the helmet of an ISIL fighter shows just how inexperienced and chaotic life in the Islamist militancy can be.
The footage shows one of the fighters firing from the vehicle that is advancing towards a Kurdish position in Iraq, according to Reuters. His rifle then slips and he ends up firing a shot inside the vehicle. His comrades scream at him to stop firing and to aim the rifle higher. “What’s wrong with you?” another panicked fighter asks in Arabic. “You’re firing the bullet casings straight at us!”
They also let a suicide bomber into one of the vehicles. “Do not be sad for me,” the man says.
Though the assault was planned, the footage shows ISIL fighters in complete disarray—in sharp contrast to the image ISIL tries to portray in its propaganda videos. The video ends with the GoPro wearer, Abu Radhwan, fleeing the armored car and the Kurds shooting him. ”I’ve been wounded!” he screams.
He rolls on the ground as an explosion rings in the background and the footage eventually ends with what were likely Radhwan’s last moments, staring up at his burning vehicle in the Iraqi desert.