Last month, a video on YouTube announced the first training session of a Syrian rebel group called the Knights of Justice Brigade. Here, you can watch black-cladded rebel fighters march around empty plains, jump through hoops of fire and double fist rifles while riding on the back of a motorbike.
High-resolution propaganda videos have been widespread in the Syrian conflict both inside and out of Daesh territory. But the US involvement that makes this one interesting.
The Knights' brigade of about 600 fighters mainly in Syria's Idlib province was among the first Syrian rebel groups to be vetted and equipped by the US military in 2014. Back then, they received anti-tank TOW missiles to take to battle in Aleppo city and the Ghab Plains. Later, they deployed fighters to confront Daesh across the rest of the northern Aleppo province.
Now they're part of the US' newest program in Turkey and Jordan that began earlier this year.
Of course this video doesn’t invalidate the group as a fighting force in the conflict. But as critics question the US training program’s effectiveness, it does raise questions about who’s behind it.
With the motorbike and dramatic soundtrack — coupled with the walkie-talkies and fatigues that look like they've been taken straight from US military brigades — it's a full-blown theatrical production.
And we’re not sure of the real motivation behind it, but now we’re just picturing US trainers and Knights’ rebels sitting in a room together saying, “Do you think we need more fire?”
Watch the video below.
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