A cool head under fire was on display in a video released just yesterday, in which a female sniper of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ, a part of the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces narrowly avoided the bullet of an ISIS sniper who had her in his sights. The dramatic video was first released by Turkish journalist Hemze Hamza through Twitter:
Sniper battle inside Raqqa city. Thank god the ISIS terrorist missed 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/c75h4HSjIW
— Hemze Hamza (@Sergermed_) June 27, 2017
In the second half of the short video, the sniper is seen sitting behind cover, visibly anxious but still smiling.. Her body language communicates her embarrassment at having been caught out, and just a touch of the nerves that follow in the footsteps of near death.
Response to the video online has been characterized by awe at her cool head under fire, and also criticism of her sniper tactics. Regarding the latter, it should be understood that it is unlikely she was trained as a “sniper” in the Western sense of the word, but probably something closer to what we would call a designated marks(wo)man. The key difference in these roles is that while the designated marksman has more training in marksmanship than the average trooper, they do not receive the same training in – among other things – concealment and camouflage that a true sniper would receive. Still, this close call was surely an lesson all its own, and I doubt she will make the same mistakes next time!
Wagging her tongue at Death…