Muhajireen Army fires on Syrian helicopter with surface-to-air missile

The Muhajireen Army, a group of jihadists closely tied to al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the Al Nusrah Front, claimed it shot down a Syrian Army helicopter in Aleppo using what appears to be an SAM-7 surface-to-air missile.

The claim, which is backed by a video [above], was made on FISyria, a Russian website that has been releasing propaganda for the Muhajireen Brigade. The video was published on the FISyria website as well as on YouTube. A fighter is seen shouldering the weapon, then firing on a helicopter, which does appear to have been hit.

At the end of the video the shooter says, in accented English, “I shoot it.”

The cameraman responses in nearly perfect English, “Really?”

“Yes, yes.” the shooter says.

“It’s falling down,” the cameraman then says.

According to a translation of the statement accompanying the posting, the group said that while the Free Syrian Army claimed credit for shooting down the helicopter, the FSA does not have the capability to do so.

Propaganda from the Muhajireen Army, which does not have an official media outlet or website, has been published on FISyria. Just two days ago, the group claimed credit for two suicide assaults against the airport in Aleppo. In one of the attacks, the group used a BMP armored personnel carrier to detonate a suicide bomb on the base.

The Muhajireen Army is led by a Chechen known as Omar al Chechen and has a significant number of fighters from Russia’s Caucasus region as well as Europe.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • mike merlo says:

    “Game changer?”

  • Jones says:

    You can tell the sound is overdubbed at 1:18 seconds. Clearly, the quality of the sound changes when he says “Allah u Akbar, I shoot him” “Really?” “It’s going down”. You can hear the audio was recorded indoors to make it seem like the helicopter was going down.
    He missed.
    Helicopter looks fine to me.
    Propaganda. And not very good propaganda at that 🙁

  • Graeme says:

    English accent – sounds like reading area of UK

  • Peter Bouckaert says:

    It is an SA-16, not SA-7. Look at the Battery Cooling Unit (BCU). The Muhajireen incorporates a whole militia of British jihadis, as featured recently on Channel 4 in UK.

  • Sandman_Slim says:

    Peter, above is correct, it is indeed an SA-16 or 18 rather than the SA-7.

  • Render says:

    Although both SA-16 and SA-24 have also been seen in rebel hands in the same region over the last five or six months or so.


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