Thomas Wictor

Pallywood from the al-Nusra Front

Pallywood from the al-Nusra Front

The al-Nusra Front is the official al-Qaeda presence in Syria. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State had a falling out, so there’s a four-way fight going on in Syria. These are the combatants, as far as everyone is admitting.


The Kurds fight all Sunni jihadists. They and the non-jihadist groups should be the only people we support. Assad and his allies fight the Sunni jihadists, while the Islamic State fights everybody, depending on the day. Sometimes the Islamic State cooperates with Assad, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Assad’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the Qods Force are garbage. The Iranians are good at asymmetrical warfare—insurgencies that entail planting bombs and attacking civilians—but when engaging armed opponents, they’re hopeless. Assad’s SAA is terrible for the same reason: Dictatorships almost never allow their armed forces to become too proficient, because then there’s the risk that the people with the guns will overthrow the government. The armed forces of dictatorships are generally good enough to oppress civilians but not fight wars.

There’s one very specific exception: When you have a homogeneous population, the armed forces can be trained to a very high level, because the ethnic and racial loyalties trump the brutality of the dictatorship. Nazi Germany, imperial Japan, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are good examples. People feel that they’re all in it together, so the armed forces don’t pose a threat to the government.

The SAA is so incompetent that commanders must micromanage operations as basic as inserting troops into a target area. These tanks and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) have to be told where to aim their guns and exactly where they must position themselves.

Note that the SAA didn’t block off the traffic. Each of those civilian vehicles could’ve been loaded with explosives. And despite the commander on the roof screeching directions, the tanks and IFVs nearly blow each other to pieces on multiple occasions. The gunners have to be told when to fire and when to stop because they’re endangering their comrades.

We’ve seen that the Islamic State puts out fake videos, and now the al-Nusra Front joins their frenemies with this blockbuster. It depicts a truck bomb blowing up Jisr al-Shugur National Hospital on May 1, 2015.

There’s a lot in the video that gives it away as phony. For one thing, the terrorists are all out in the open on a hillside. Nobody’s returning fire at them. After the truck stops in front of the hospital, there’s an edit. The explosion is shown from two different angles. This truck-mounted cannon is firing at the hospital after the explosion, but the footage was moved to before the bomb was detonated.


Also, they want you to think a tank shelled the hospital.


What actually caused the explosion was an antitank guided missile (ATGM). You can clearly see the flare (red arrow) that the operator uses to guide the munition with a joystick.




Even with a guided munition, the terrorist hit nothing. The missile missed the combat post and exploded on the roof in front of it.


All of the above is important, but here’s the real reason I know that the al-Nusra Front is making cheap Pallywood.

The rapid surrender of Jisr al-Shughour on Saturday, following 48 hours of rebel attacks, came after regime forces lost the nearby provincial capital, Idlib, earlier in April. Earlier this year, loyalist offensives in Aleppo, northern Damascus and southern Syria were similarly defeated within days.

Assad’s forces left Jisr al-Shugur on Saturday, April 25. The truck bomb was set off on Friday, May 1, almost a week later. Plenty of news outlets reported that Assad abandoned Jisr al-Shugur on April 25, 2015.

— Rebels, including members of U.S.-backed groups and al Qaida’s Nusra Front, captured the strategic town of Jisr al Shughur in northwest Syria on Saturday, the second major setback for the government of President Bashar Assad in Idlib province in a month.

The loss of Jisr al Shugur all but closes the government’s land supply routes to two major bases in the west of Idlib, Mastuma and Ariha, both of which are surrounded by rebel forces and can now be supplied only by air. Rebels captured the provincial capital, Idlib city, on March 28.

So the truck-bomb video is fake. The al-Nusra Front attacked an empty hospital. They did so because they’re not good fighters. Watch this video.

At 1:20, the operator of a truck-mounted heavy machine gun fires into the ground right in front of his own face.


That’s a high-explosive incendiary (HEI) bullet. It could easily have killed the gunner.

The armed forces of the region that can fight are those of the Egyptians, Saudis, Emiratis, Jordanians, Moroccans, Tunisians, Algerians, Israelis, and Kurds. However, the Kurds are in a class of their own.

In the Syrian city of Kobane, from July 2 to September 27, 2014, about 1500 Kurdish fighters from the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) and about 300 members of the Free Syrian Army held off an armored assault by the Islamic State that consisted of about 10,000 terrorists and up to fifty main battle tanks. Arab and American air power began aiding the Kurds from September 27, but for almost two months, it was riflemen and women against tanks.

Outnumbered five to one, the Kurds stood fast. These were men and women of a militia; the YPG isn’t a formal army. However, if the Kurds ever get their own country and create a modern army, navy, and air force, they’ll become a world power. Watch how Kurdish Peshmerga destroy Islamic State suicide truck bombs and armored vehicles.

The Kurds are using antitank guided missiles and light cannons mounted on trucks. At 4:53, the Kurds begin firing over the horizon in case enemy reinforcements are gathering out of sight for a counterattack. Unlike the al-Nusra Front, the Kurds don’t have to put fake videos out there to inflate their reputation. Kurdish videos speak for themselves.

Who but the Kurds could turn an Islamic State suicide car bomb into a circus act?

These are the ringmasters.


If you don’t leave them alone, they’ll turn you into dead, flying clowns.