Stress, no visible tactics and no organisation: this footage of an attack by IS fighters tears apart the image of hardened and well-trained jihadists who are facing a martyr’s death. Journalist Hans Jaap Melissen was on the front line, on the spot where these images were shot, where he was given this video by a Peshmerga commander.
During an attack on a Peshmerga line, an IS fighter is wearing a helmet mounted GoPro camera to film the fighting. The terrorist group often film attacks and when they are victorious, they post them online for propaganda purposes. But this video paints a different picture of IS, one we didn’t know about. Journalist Melissen says the images show how chaotic the fighting is. With bullets flying, the IS fighters drive toward their death. They are not very skilful in handling their weapons; they don’t take the recoil into account when they fire. The assignment of tasks seems unclear and the fighters easily panic. It appears they are not archetypical jihadists: the fighters are wearing Iraqi army uniforms.
The IS fighter with the camera, probably the commander of the vehicle, was killed in the attack. The armoured vehicle was hit by a rocket. A Peshmerga fighter, whom Een Vandaag has been talking to, took the camera from the dead jihadist’s hands. Later he gave the memory card to journalist Hans Jaap Melissen when Melissen visited the scene of the attack.
Every day the Peshmerga have to deal with attacks like this. It’s difficult for them, due to a shortage of weapons and men. Hans Jaap Melissen talked on the scene with Tony, an American volunteer who fights with the Peshmerga.