Daesh small arms perspective

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Most of the media we have presented about the Terrorist group Daesh, detailing their small arms inventory, has come from the group themselves in propaganda and news reports. However recently, courtesy of VICE News, we have a completely unfiltered view from one of their own fighters, in an engagement against the Kurds. The news agency was able to obtain this footage from the helmet camera of one of the slain terrorists. It depicts a mobile element going into battle against a Kurdish YPG position in northern Syria. The truck where the fighter with the camera is in suffers a mobility kill, and the crew in the armored bucket in the back have to bail out and egress to the rear. Much can be said about the tactics of these guys that just plain suck. From rolling on the ground instead of low crawling, to not being aware of their RPG back blast area at all, to horrible communication throughout the vehicles and between the individual fighters in the back of the Mad Max like armored trucks.

As for small arms, we see some interesting developments, namely the 7.62x51mm MG3 (it could possibly be an MG42 from a number of World War Two weapons caches that were unearthed in Syria), to a DIY rifle mounted grenade launcher, set off by a blank round, gingerly lit like a Molotov cocktail. I will give them credit for referring to the types of RPG rockets by Anti-Personal and Anti-Tank, with the personal ones shaped like a solid rod, and the Anti-Tank ones with the bulbous warhead that the RPG is much more commonly seen with. We also see the use of M16s and RPK light machine guns.

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Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Cybrludite

    They don’t even have the boosters screwed onto their RPGs beforehand, and are doing that as part of their reload under fire.

    • Tritro29

      It’s normal not to have the Propellant sticks set when inside 2 or 3m². Also most of the problems come from the fact they are 3 in a very small volume and a running vehicle so they impact each other that way. Adversely. Some ideas are awesome like shooting that RPK behind the ear of your MG3 gunner, having no fixed position for that MG3 inside the gun truck and other small interesting features like using an M70 to fire deodorant cans, complaining about brass when you align yourself just next to the mg3 port aaand complaining about pressure impact from an RPG fired half a metre from you in what is basically a cooking pot.

  • Lemonificent

    You guys failed to notice that the MG gunner shoots the inside of the car, around 2:20.

  • mikee

    Turn the caliphate into glass!

  • Mk.56T

    Good, the world need more videos like this. To counter the ISIS propaganda. To prevent people going radical and join them.

    • Tritro29

      Kurds and the “moderates” aren’t a lot better, hell the Syrian “Armed Froces” aren’t a lot better either.

      • Amateur games are always the best to watch because they’re unpredictable.

      • John

        And I’ve seen young U.S. soldiers make stupid and careless mistakes.

        The harder you train, the better your chances of survival.

        • Tritro29

          Yes, experience comes at a price. But those US troops (even our sweet-piss in Russia) has a series of stages that make this kind of idiocy the exception, rather than the norm or “the Excellence”.

      • throwedoff

        Well apparently the Kurds were much better than these stooges. Did you not notice the burning improvised armored assault vehicles. Look like their fire discipline and accuracy was above the scale of these Daesh noobs.

        • Tritro29

          If Kurds were better than these “stooges”, they wouldn’t be needing US and sometimes our (Russian) air power to go on and fight ISIS. Let us not forget that the great culprits for the ISIS infestation besides International politics and Saddam (we all have a role as I said, East and West) are the Kurds themselves that let ISIS use their own KRG territory to attack the Iraqi central government. About 30% of the initial ISIS were Kurds.

          The shameful double play in Mosul from the Kurds is to blame for the biggest lump of initial ISIS success. We have seen footage of Secret squirrels with Kurds, including Javelin use against ISIS suicide-mobile.
          It doesn’t require a lot more in that situation to be “better” than these guys. They’re already in a very precarious situation to begin with, they clearly don’t have the firepower, nor the numbers to take that CP. This is typical of ISIS gamble mentality.
          Also fire accuracy is a relative concept in the Middle East, I saw two hits in that mess, plus the RPG shot in front. I know it’s all it takes but remember the bullshit you guys were peddling about how Afghans were born marksmen back in the 80’s when the Mujahidin were taking pot shots at my uncle. Then you discovered that they weren’t all that. Well Kurds are only a slightly better version of those tall tales.

          • Aramaki

            In a war like what’s going on with ISIS, air power serves the same role as artillery, and the Kurds do not appear to really have field artillery. Without field artillery, they *need* airstrikes. If we really want to be helping them, we should be sending them howitzers and teaching them how to use them.

  • TVOrZ6dw

    Why roll on the ground when you are wearing those high-speed combat sneakers?

    • Right? I still do not know how to interpret that. I mean, the guy is losing all sense of situational awareness, rolling end over end, disorientating himself in the process, in addition to making himself a bigger target profile by having his entire body face the enemy instead of crawling away from it. And it has to have been taught, because BOTH of them were doing it!!

  • wetcorps

    I feel kind of bad for Abu Hajaar, he just wanted to do the jihad and instead he got yelled at and became a meme.

    • politicsbyothermeans

      Sleep tight, Daesh. Plenty more Abu Hajaar where he came from.

      • Tritro29

        I think this c*nt survived. So not bad.

      • Jon

        Abu Hajaar is not the worst of that band. He clearly lacks knowledge and does his best, that stupid who cries him and then aims part of the rocket launcher exaust to the interior of the vehicle is the most ridiculous.

        • politicsbyothermeans

          Yeah but, “What is wrong with you, Abu Whatshisname?” isn’t as funny.

        • Bob

          The guy who keeps yelling about the casings hitting him needs to decide what is more important, having a machine gunner providing cover fire, or not having empty brass hitting him. Seriously, I have been shooting at an Appleseed with hot brass from the guy next to me bouncing all over, even one that went down my shirt, and I kept up my shooting. It is war, deal with the minor distractions and fight.

          • CommonSense23

            There is a huge difference between having some hot brass from a appleseed course hitting you than a belt fed from less than 2ft away hit you. I have watched one of AW gunners destroy the comms of our JTAC with brass and link from his belt fed.

          • Bob

            Ok, what should Hajaar do then? Switch positions with Mr. Whiner?

          • micmac80

            Yes they would have to do some thinking in advance to get it right .LOL

        • micmac80

          Indeed the worst seems to be that Abu Abdulah dude with the RPG and never ending stream of complaints.

    • TheMaskedMan

      This is like an episode of The Three Stooges.

  • Harrison Jones

    It literally looked like the guys who go to the gun store and buy an AK, 100 rounds of ammo and throw it in their closet were called to active duty with no training. None of their equipment was staged and they didn’t know where a thing was.

    Running like hell in the other direction would be a lot more effective than rolling on the ground and I think a lot easier to train for. Or maybe they could add in some zig zags. There are so many things wrong with this.

    I know that ISIS has some well trained forces, but if these are their regular forces our regular forces will probably beat the crap out of their best.

    • Twilight sparkle

      There was a video floating around arfcom a few years back when it was just the Islamic state of Iraq showing some of the highly trained people doing a night raid on check points and they were leagues above this with some really expensive equipment, it looks a lot like ISIS is taking pretty much anybody without having any training now.

      • Bob

        I dunno, our protagonist at one point takes his sling off his back sight, so apparently he knows something.

      • Harrison Jones

        You’d think the higher trained groups on both sides would be destroying their opponents and taking ground vs these drawn out standstills we a seeing.

  • Friend of Tibet

    When I joined a veteran servers on Arma 3/Rainbow 6, I usually play Abu Hajaar’s part…….

  • Ron

    There are numerous cultural issues that hamper them from being a effective fighting force.
    Their inductive reason combined with the concept of Insha’Allah prevents them from doing effective planning and preparation for combat. The mean had a sort of laziness to them because for all the life they were taken care of by women, as children their mothers did everything for them, and as adults their wives would or they would just do without. Their belief in the superiority of Islam and by extension the Arab culture to Westerners prevents them from learning, I don’t know how many times as an advisor their attitude that an infidel could not teach them how to fight prevented them from learning even the basics. They saw my team of Marines and I as not being Muslim so we were inferior so they believed they could not really learn from us.

    • Mk.56T

      AFAIK in the Muslim philosophy(?), the Insha Allah means “by God’s will”.
      It’s often became their excuse (well, some of them) for being lazy to train and learn themselves to be a better person.
      Because of that, if sometimes they failed at something, their excuse is often “God does not allow this to happen (yet).”
      Looks like they forgot one thing their teachings. At one point it said that God didn’t change their fate unless they change it themselves. That means train and learn…

      • Jean

        +1

        That’s often the issue with a lot of Muslims now when they use Insha Allah.

        They turn an optimistic principle – train hard, do your best, and if you don’t get the rewards you expected, be humble, take the positive outcomes, and learn – to lazy fatalism.

        • TJbrena

          We have the same thing here with the preachers who say God will make you rich. God helps those who help themselves. Multiplying zero effort by any number is still zero.

          Be a decent person, put in the effort, and it’s a safe bet God will have your back. If you’re lazy or a scumbag, God won’t help you.

    • snmp

      In fact, Insha’Allah comme from the “Deus vult or Deus lo vult” of the Crusader

  • Vitsaus

    Since this was put out by Vice, you can probably find an IMDB page for all the guys in this video.

  • SP mclaughlin

    The new Insurgency game looks great.

  • gunsandrockets

    Dirka Dirka! Aloha Snak-bar!

  • Don Ward

    I think we’ve all had to work with an Abu Hajaar.

  • Samael527

    They are called ISIS. Get it right Firearms Blog. What, are you trying to avoid hurting the fee fees of muslims?

    • Jonathan Ferguson

      Far from it. Daesh is what their enemies, including foreign fighters (including Americans) call them. It’s also a play on words that they hate. ISIS is what they call (called) themselves; why would you want to call them that?

      • Evan

        They never called themselves “ISIS”. ISIS is an acronym for a bad translation of the now defunct name ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya fil Iraq wa Sham, which translates to The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. As of 2014, that name no longer applies, and they call themselves simply ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya, or the Islamic State. Da’ish and IS are acceptable acronyms, ISIS is not.

        • Jonathan Ferguson

          Fair enough, ISIL it is. My point about Daesh stands however.

          • Evan

            Actually, ISIL hasn’t been a valid name since 2014. IS or Da’ish are the only valid acronyms. And yes, your point about Da’ish does stand.

      • Samael527

        Because that’s the correct term. ISIS is the organization’s actual name.

        • Jonathan Ferguson

          Apparently not; it’s IS or ISIL, which I didn’t appreciate. Point is that the guys actually fighting them use Daesh, & apparently its also an insult, so that’s a legit term in my book. They have no legitimacy, so call them whatever you like. Personally I favour “The Abu Hajaar Project”.

    • N.

      Daesh is a pejorative term that ISIS hates. It’s a deliberate insult…

    • Although we are very much against siding with anything political here at TFB, I think everyone can agree that we all want this evil terrorist group wiped off the face of the earth, no matter what your politics are. With that being said, the replies posted are correct. You see, in Arabic, acronyms aren’t said in the same context as we do in English. Instead of saying “USA”, Arabs will say “United States of America” because it is giving the title, the full credit of the word. So lets take Daesh apart. The Arabic acronym is دایش, which expanded in Arabic is دولت اسلمی یراق و شام. Which literally translates to “The Islamic Government of Iraq and the Levant”. Sham is the Arabic word for “Levant”, or in other words the former center of the Islamic Caliphs stretching from Baghdad to Damascus, to Jerusalem. This is what the terrorist group wants to resurrect.

      THUS, in Arabic, by saying the acronym instead of the full title, you are subliminally implying that whatever the heck your title is, it isn’t even worth the breath out of your lungs to pronounce it fully. If you want further clarification, I’d be happy to talk more offline.

      • Evan

        One correction – As of 2014 they are no longer “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya fil Iraq wa Sham). They are simply ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya, or the Islamic State. ISIS is not the correct acronym and never has been, and ISIL is no longer correct either. Da’ish or IS are the only current acronyms.

    • Evan

      No, he’s going for accuracy. Da’ish is an acronym for ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya, or the Islamic State, which is what they call themselves. Da’ish is also apparently a play on words in Arabic, and thus highly insulting to them. “ISIS” is an acronym of a mistranslation of an old name, which was possibly deliberately mistranslated because “ISIS” sounds better than “ISIL”. Either way, it is incorrect. IS or Da’ish are the correct acronyms.

      • Samael527

        Wouldn’t IS be the correct choice to use in an English language blog?

        • Evan

          IS is the one I usually use, but Da’ish is in common use and acceptable.

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    I would say MG3 based on the booster.

  • Cmex

    Daesh isn’t very good at what they’re doing. Shocker. But poor Abu Hajaar, he sucked so bad he became a dank meme.

  • micmac80

    US trained local are like Iraqi army are even worse .But considerign that is the case with just about every US trained mid east unit something has to wrong with US training system for that region

    • Evan

      It isn’t just the US. I have two friends whose fathers had to train various Arabs while members of East Bloc militaries (USSR and Yugoslavia, respectively) during the Cold War. In both cases, they were apparently untrainable. My own memories of the jundis back from 2005-06 are quite similar to these knuckleheads.

  • Qiavraluk

    I can’t believe that no has gone there yet, but here it is, these guys are still just a bunch of daesh bags.

  • Nicholas Mew

    Abu Hajaar was later banned from the server by Allah for being a noob.

    • TJbrena

      You were banned by xXTheCaliph420Xx
      Reason: git gud

  • Jim

    That was one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a long time! Looks like episodes from the old TV shows ‘F Troop’ or ‘Mayberry RFD’ with Barney Fife. People do crazy things when they get shot at. That’s where good training comes in to save your a**. At least they didn’t throw down their weapons and run away.

  • Well that was a useless comment. What difference does it make and that choice is up to the writer which I have no problem with it because it’s not a big deal.

  • Manu

    MG42 from wwII cache?
    I don´t think so, because the MG42 was chambered in 7,92 × 57 mm and I highly doubt that they have this ammo available.
    The .308 was invented around 1952 so there are no MG42 in this caliber.
    So the gun in the video is probably a MG3 that was given to the Kurds by germany and somehow found its way to the wrong side.

    • Evan

      My battalion found a Kar98K in Iraq. I wasn’t there when they found it, but I saw it later. There was ammo for it as well.

    • iksnilol

      You really think MG42s are uncommon?

      Or that 8mm Mauser is uncommon in that part of the world?

      • Phil Hsueh

        If I remember correctly, they were still using PzKpfw IVs in the region well into the ’50s and possibly ’60s as well. If they had WW II era tanks still running years and decades after WWI it would be nothing for them to still have small arms from that time still working.

        Just because we replace our weapons systems on somewhat regular basis doesn’t mean that other countries do. Hell, I bet if you were able to look into Russia’s armories they probably still have tons of Mosins, Papashas, and T-34s tucked away just waiting to be degreased and dusted in case of a rainy day. Some countries just don’t get rid of anything as long as it still works.

  • n0truscotsman

    From my experience, I can tell you the Iraqi forces were abysmally trained, despite the gargantuan effort of US military forces and contractors. And I have no reason whatsoever to believe any claim that they improved following our departure.

    One of the contentious arguments that was occurring in theatre at the time was the money spent on “NATO-izing” Iraqi forces when the emphasis should have been placed on proper training and proper equipment suitable for defeating insurgencies, which doesn’t require M1 Abrams tanks, F16s, or hellfire missiles.

    But if their own officers and civilian leadership dont take the security role of the Iraqi armed forces seriously, then everything is pretty much a waste of time. Many Americans (especially our political ‘betters’) dont understand that political and military positions in the Iraqi government only serve the role of enriching/bettering that individual. Thats it.

    Unsurprisingly, incompetent, poorly led, and ill-trained morons aren’t any more effective with modern weaponry.

    Its depressing sitting back and watching everything you feared coming true with alarming predictability.

  • Evan

    If you talk of calling them by their actual name, you shouldn’t call them “ISIS”. That’s a bad translation of an old name. As for their actual name, it’s ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya, which is quite a mouthful for your average American. So, this usually gets shortened to Da’ish or translated as Islamic State.

    Traditionally, terrorist groups are known in the US by their Arabic names. This is true of al-Qa’ida, Hamas, Hizballah, the Taliban, Jamaat i-Islamiya, etc. All of these names have English translations, but you never hear of al-Qa’ida being referred to as “the base”. Unfortunately, for the Islamic State, a very stupid name was popularized in the media. I suspect that “ISIS” was picked because of how it sounds; it certainly wasn’t an acronym of am accurate rendition of their actual name in English.

  • Dan

    The jihadis on the ground go round and round, round and round

  • Crom Bann

    Daesh is I S L A M I C S T A T E. for nonarabic speakers and non·incompetent non·appeaser types.

    • Dan

      Go ahead and cite your sources

  • Oberon82

    it is more likely a MG3 instead of a MG42. We (Germany) and Italy delivered a couple of 100s to the Peshmerga. And I bet Turkey delivered even more directly to IS.

  • Scot168

    Sort of like the Three Stooges go to war.

  • Zebra Dun

    I never shoot anything from a rifle where I have to light a fuse with my lighter.
    Just my rules.

  • Laionidas

    Top 5 favourite scenes:

    1. Abu Hajaar
    2. Abu Hajaar

    3. Molotov rifle grenades not fitting the launcher
    4. RPG backfire
    5. Rolling for non existent cover, while the AK’s barrel is can be seen picking up twigs