Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda's Syrian offshoot, has published a 17-minute video that documents, step by step, the organization's conquest of a village in February. The video shows fighters with high morale gradually overrunning the Syrian Army, which shows low abilities.
The video is from the town of Al Shadadi, in the Al Hasakah governorate in northeastern Syria.
Dozens of mujahedeen fighters are seen receiving a nighttime briefing before going out to battle. During the day, they once again receive a briefing – this time it is a religious one. The cleric speaking to the fighters encourages them not to fear death, since it will be followed by an eternal life in paradise under Allah's protection, with beautiful women in attendance.
Armed with light weapons, anti-tank weapons and heavy machine guns fitted on vehicles, the fighters attack a regime checkpoint first. They then fix their sights on their main objective – the headquarters of the Assad regime's security forces in the town, which is defended by a tank, among other weapons.
Dozens of mujahedeen are able to come close to the target without encountering resistance. A truck headed toward the HQ is received with shouts of Allahu akbar. It is most likely on its way to explode under the HQ, giving the go-ahead for the infantry assault.
Syrian defense of the HQ was ineffective. Most of the soldiers were killed in the course of the fighting, or executed afterward. A few were taken prisoner and apparently executed afterward, too.
According to Jabhat al-Nusra, 200 of Assad's soldiers were killed in the operation. A large amount of weapons and ammunition was seized, and Syrian flags were replaced by Al Qaeda flags.