Rebels fighting against Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war are outgunned, outmanned and largely aren’t professional soldiers. So they’re turning to social media for tutorials in how to use their weapons.
In the video above, a faceless individual offers a 15-minute crash course in Arabic on the basics of assault rifles. It’s posted to the YouTube channel FSAHelp, for “Free Syrian Army,” as the resistance calls itself. Additional videos on the channel demonstrate how to shoot from a prone position, how to creep up on an enemy from a hidden position, and hand-to-hand combat. The hi-def videos are fairly high quality, with actors wearing ski masks and toting guns in wooden fields demonstrating combat maneuvers.
The YouTube channel isn’t the only clearing house for Syrian guerrilla training. FSAHelp’s Facebook page has much more, from photos about turning the ringtones off of cellphones to videos that demonstrate how to operate anti-tank missiles.
The small-arms arsenal on display in the videos impresses some weapons experts. “There are only a few countries in the world where you would expect to see a Kel-Tec pistol, Sig 9mm, Glock Gen4, Workforce wrench and a S&W M&P AR-15 rifle in the same place,” observes The Firearm Blog. “This was almost certainly filmed in the USA or Canada (my money is on the former).”
At the Pentagon on Tuesday, spokesman George Little said that the Assad regime “should be worried” by the opposition, which is staging attacks in the Syrian capitol of Damascus.
Assad’s forces still have the advantage: Among other things, they’ve got command of the skies thanks to attack helicopters. But it probably won’t be long before videos start popping up on FSAHelp about taking down a chopper — especially since the rebels know exactly which helicopters Assad uses.