The People’s Protection Units (YPG) appears to be releasing fake videos claiming that they show strikes on the Turkish Armed Forces and its peoxies in the northern Syrian area of Afrin.
On December 15th, the YPG Press Office released two videos allegedly showing YPG attacks on Turkey-led forces in Afrin. The attacks reportedly took place on the previous day.
According to the release, the YPG attacked positions of the Sham Legion in the villages of Dersiwan and Nebi Houri. 4 pro-Turkish militants were reportedly killed and 5 others wounded. The shot was allegedly made with a anti-tank guided missile (ATGM)
The video is called “4 Faylaq Sham mercenaries have been eliminated in occupied Afrin” and was uploaded on December 15th on the “Rojava Defense Units” YouTube Channel:
Somehow, however, the Shaam Network S.N.N, also published a video that presents the exact same scenario, but also contains over 1 minute more of footage showing militants prepare to shoot mortars. This video was published on December 8th, 2015. Showing a Sham Legion militant launching an ATGM at an Syrian Arab Army vehicle.
On the same day, the YPG allegedly an IED to blow up a vehicle of the Sultan Murad Division militant group in the village of Qastal Miqdad. According to the YPG report, 2 militants were killed, and 2 others were injured in the attack.
It is named “The moment Turkish-backed terrorists were blown up by YPG in Afrin.” However the originial video uploaded on April 23rd 2015 show how Sham Legion militants load up mortars and target SAA soldiers on April 22nd, 2015.
Currently, the fake videos of the YPG attacks on Afrin cannot be found on the official YPG twitter account. However, they are available on the YouTube account used by the YPG to upload videos showing its attacks in Afrin:
Links to this YouTube account can be found in YPG tweets about previous attacks:
The official YPG website uses screenshots from the fake videos in its December 15 report on the alleged attack:
While there are no doubts that the YPG has really carried out attacks on Turkey-led forces in the Afrin region since the start of 2018, the December 15-like fake news are an important signal showing some problems within the group. Two key factors influencing the situation are:
- Turkish threats to kick off a military operation against the YPG in the area east of the Euphrates;
- The US decision to withdraw troops from Syria.