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Helmet cam footage shows ISIS in battlefield chaos

A camera recovered from the helmet of a dead fighter offers a contrasting picture of chaos with Kurdish peshmerga

Published: Updated:

ISIS may exult in online portrayals of militants sweeping victoriously across Iraqi battlefields, but a camera recovered from the helmet of a dead fighter offers a contrasting picture of chaos and panic in a battle with Kurdish peshmerga.


A fighter named Abu Hajer is shown in footage seized by Peshmerga firing from one of three ISIS armored cars advancing across a barren plain towards a Kurdish position. His rifle slips and he fires off a shot inside the vehicle.

“Abu Hajer! Stop firing!” shouts Abu Radhwan, the camera in his helmet picking up anguished faces as it swings erratically from views of rifles and munitions on the floor of the armored car to the brown fields and blue sky ahead.

A second fighter, Abu Abdullah, shouts out above the sound of shooting: “Abu Hajer! I told you to aim higher! What’s wrong with you? You’re firing the bullet casings straight at us!”

Abu Radhwan then turns his attention to Abdullah.

“Abu Abdullah, aim higher and be careful! Abu Abdullah you’re going to kill us!”

The hurried nature of the operation was clear from the start as ISIS fighters in desert fatigues and helmets ushered a suicide bomber into one of the vehicles. “Do not be sad for me,” he says.

“Come on, hurry up brothers!” says another fighter, beckoning him aboard. “There are (war) planes around, please.”

Chaos and disarray are no strangers to soldiers in the thick of conflict, though the discipline of established professional armies might restrict battlefield anger and recrimination. Many fighting for ISIS are new recruits, some from Europe, with limited combat training.