First, per my new standard operating procedure (SOP) I’d like to embed this video of ISIS, featuring Abu Hajar and follow that up with this: they’re clowns. But, they were able to get exclusive footage of U.S. backed rebels training with Americans. Personally, I’m disturbed they got the footage.

Here is the video: ISIL Propaganda video

It shows and highlights and what is basically behind the scenes footage from rebel training. Who the hell are our partners? At one point in the video, an adviser is speaking with what can be assumed is a rebel leader in strategic communications. Apparently, something they are way behind on compared to ISIL, but it also didn’t necessarily seem that the exchange was intended to be filmed. This is, of course, conjecture.

One thing is for sure: Americans are terrified of the refugee crisis. With some good reason when we dissect and look at the actors in the Syrian war. When it comes to Syrians, it’s hard to decipher who is who. Apparently, U.S. backed rebels, which are described as moderate, beheaded a child in Aleppo. Aleppo was recently described as hell on earth at a UN hearing. Please, listen to an award-winning war journalist, Clarissa Ward, describe her experience as, unlike any war zone she’s encountered before. This is part of the cause of our refugee fears.

Clarissa Ward noted, when she addressed the UN Security Council, that there was an overall lack of trust in the region. The unfortunate reality might be that we may need to do more. Meaning, beyond train, assist, advise but also accompany. Similar to the role we have in Africa – except fully able to protect ourselves and conduct offensive operations. The real question is: if we want to do something about Syria, will Russia let us? Besides, who is going to fill the void of leadership at this point?

It’s clear no on can be trusted, not that our partner forces ever can to the same extent we are confident in one another. How do I know the moderate rebels aren’t trustworthy and as professional as we like? They keep running their mouths about the training programs designed to help and empower them. A rebel described training in Qatar to PBS. A rebel describes winning the trust of the Americans and the West.

Amnesty International says the Syrian refugee crisis is the “worst humanitarian crisis of our time.” It deserves more thought, understanding, and calls to your congressman. We need those in leadership to understand this more than any other.  This is an enormous mess and propaganda videos released by ISIL that potentially put American SOF personnel at risk should make us reconsider our approach.

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