As a Marine Captain in Iraq, Elliot Ackerman lost men fighting jihadis, but then he found himself breaking bread with a former adversary in a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey.
Warning: Graphic footage. Little is known about the origins of the Abkhazian Network News Agency, ANNA. What we do know is that the agency, nominally from the breakaway Georgian republic Abkhazia, has been covering the brutal Syrian Civil War while embedded with the SAA on its Youtube channel (be sure to enable English captions). Defiant and unapologetic about its pro-government position, the videos nevertheless provide a unique perspective on what is perhaps the most well-documented war in history. Brief sample: GoPros mounted on tanks, civilian traffic driving by tanks, near misses, and close quarters combat. Sometimes the other side is taking a video too. [via /r/CombatFootage and /r/syriancivilwar] [more inside]
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah gave a major speech today to a large gathering of party leaders where he confirmed that Hezbollah militia members have been sent to fight in Syria. Watch him explain in his own words his reasons behind this decision (English Subtitles). (via LiveLeak) Hezbollah soldiers are said to be playing a key role in the battle for Qusayr a strategic rebel held town situated on the road between Lebanon and Homs. More background on the battle of Quasyr is available at Syria Deeply a site featuring the works of independent journalists covering the Syrian civil war. [Previously]
Watching Syria's War [Caution: war]. The New York Times is posting video coming out of the Syrian Civil War with context and background: Street Fighting in Allepo (related), Crusader Castle Becomes Rebel Redoubt (AFP report), Tank Stalking, Harrowing ride through the streets of Homs. The online video has "allowed the war to be documented like no other", according to the Times, presumably because of the ubiquity of video cameras among the fighters and access to the Internet.