Brutality At A Peak Of Syrian Conflict

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The escalation of the situation in northern and eastern Syria during the past months sparked a new wave of media interest to the conflict. Expectedly, all the sides involved in the standoff ramped up their propaganda efforts. In this very period, multiple shocking videos filmed in 2016-2017 appeared online. Some media organizations tried to present these videos as up-to-date.

For example, videos showing atrocity of Turkish-backed militant groups in northeastern Syria (video 21+) were accompanied by footage filmed during Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Afrin in 2018 (video 21+; This link was provided for information purposes only. SF strongly advises to avoid watching it). Pro-Kurdish soruces used old videos in an attempt to increase an international pressure on the Turkish government after the start of its military operation in northeastern Syria.

Another case from this field is a series of videos showing actions of alleged Russia-linked military contractors towards a Syrian man that reportedly defected to ISIS. These videos (graphic video warning 21+: here, here, here; These links were provided for information purposes only. SF strongly advises to avoid watching them.) have been recently injected into the media space and drew significant attention of English-language media outlets.

Brutality At A Peak Of Syrian Conflict

A blured screenshot from the video

The disturbing series of clip shows an execution of an alleged Syrian deserter to ISIS by Russian-speaking men dressed in tactical clothing. The person (according to some media, Abdullah al-Ismail, 32 – this remains unconfirmed) is shown being pushed to the ground, repeatedly hit with a sledgehammer and beaten. The group the beheads him and cuts off his arms. The further footage shows them burning the body. Media outlets claim that the group of people shown on the video was belonging to so-called “Wagner PMC”, a group of Russia-linked private military contractors that operates in Syria.

Brutality At A Peak Of Syrian Conflict

A blured screenshot from the video

Brutality At A Peak Of Syrian Conflict

A blured screenshot from the video

Later, more details regarding the incident appeared in Russian social media. On November 21, an unofficial online community covering activities of so-called “Wagner PMC” released  the following anonymous letter (source):

Yesterday, another wiseacre from the Internet wrote a story about a poor sadik (slang term: a friendly Syrian soldier or a member of pro-government militia) and “Russian monsters”. Day-dreamers even somehow invented his name. They composed a lot. For the wise men from the Internet, I explain, the video was shot in APRIL 2017.

We picked this fucker in late February or early March with a bare ass in the desert when we secured the territory recently captured from militants. During interrogation, he said that he was a sadyk, that his unit fled from its position when militants began an advance, but he fought back. We checked the unit he named. It was defeated by militants 5 km away from the place where we found him.

We took him with us and a couple of weeks he hanged around at our positions. They made an observation point and put him there so that he would not sit idle. At night, militants began shelling us. We responded. When we took a look, our sadyk was already gone. Of course, there was no desire or opportunity to look for him. Sadiks are famous runners. No one attached importance to this.

In the morning, our remote post came under an intense shelling from light and heavy. Two suicide bombers blew up. Three our fighters were killed. Militants captured one heavily injured fighter.

On the next day, an unmanned vehicle dropped a severed arm with a phone near the same post. We identified (him) by tattoo and the ring. The phone was checked. The initial thought was that it was an IED. However, there was a video showing the same missing sadyk that kills (cuts) our guy.

Attacks on our posts continued, but militants did not succeed. In the end of April, we set up an ambush, surrounded militants who were about to attack our post again, and fucked them up, capturing three of them.

Look, the same missing sadyk, who quartered our guy, was among them. He confessed all. Well, what else to do with him. The guys still remembered everything, and dealt with him exactly as he did with our guy. Well, as a warning, they also recorded a video for militants. The answer. So, fuckers would know. And now Internet wiseacres invented fairy tales. Nothing personal, just the war on evil.

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