Saturday, July 21, 2012

YouTube Used to Train Rebels

I guess it was an inevitable. A "sign of the times" we live in. The Free Syria Army (FSA) has turned to YouTube and Facebook to train it;s recruits. The rebels are outgunned, outmanned and, for the most part, aren’t professional soldiers. So they’ve found a new, innovative way to turn citizens into warroiors by turning to social media for tutorials in how to use their weapons.

One video on YouTube is a 15-minute crash course in Arabic on the basics of assault rifles. It’s posted to the YouTube channel FSAHelp, for “Free Syrian Army,” as the resistance calls itself. Other videos on the channel include things such as how to shoot from a prone position, how to creep up on an enemy from a hidden position, and hand-to-hand combat. These videos are in hi-def  and are fairly high quality, with actors wearing ski masks and toting guns demonstrating combat maneuvers.

In addition to YouTube being used for Syrian guerrilla training, the FSAHelp’s Facebook page has everything from photos about turning the ringtones off of cellphones (so you don't alert the enemy you are trying to sneak up on) to videos that demonstrate how to operate anti-tank missiles.

The small-arms arsenal on display in the videos impresses some weapons experts. “There are only a few countries in the world where you would expect to see a Kel-Tec pistol, Sig 9mm, Glock Gen4, Workforce wrench and a S&W M&P AR-15 rifle in the same place,” observes The Firearm Blog. “This was almost certainly filmed in the USA or Canada (my money is on the former).”

While Assad’s forces still have the advantage because they’ve got things such as command of the skies thanks to attack helicopters, it probably won’t be long before videos about taking down a chopper start popping.

While this use of social media is impressive, I have to wonder how this new trend will impact the world. How long will it be before videos like this are translated into other languages and used to training guerillas and terrorists all over the world, including our own "home grown" right here. I think, perhaps, YouTube and Facebook should consider their policies regarding posting of this kind of material before governments start using them as an excuse to crackdown and regulate the Internet.

Live Long and Prosper....

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