A newly released video captured Kurdish freedom fighters blowing up an Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) suicide bomber, who was attempting to drive a Ford pickup truck carrying a ton of TNT across the Kurdish frontline near Mosul in northern Iraq.
As the jihadist raced toward the Peshmerga frontline, a soldier with a rocket launcher managed to hit the vehicle on the third or fourth try, detonating the explosives carried on board. The video, posted by Kurdistan News, shows the suicide bomber on the horizon speeding across the screen from left to right as a narrator cries out to his colleagues to take him out.
In the video, the narrator, presumably a Kurdish freedom fighter, can be heard anxiously urging his comrades, “It’s coming closer and closer. Come on. Hurry and hit it. Hit it.”
The soldier fires two or three rockets that miss their target before hitting the explosive-laden pickup, sending it up in smoke and flames, after which the narrator whoops with joy.
The video was posted online on Christmas Eve, when the incident is believed to have taken place.
The use of cars packed with explosives is a tactic often employed by the Islamic State in its offensives.
The latest attack reportedly occurred along the same frontline where the Islamic State was routed earlier this month after launching one of its largest offensives in many months.
According to U.S. defense officials, the ISIS assault struck multiple sites near the northern city of Mosul, but the jihadists were routed by a Peshmerga counterattack that left more than 200 Islamic State militants dead.
U.S., French, British, and Canadian forces launched airstrikes against the Islamists, while Kurdish troops fought on the ground. According to official reports, the airstrikes took out 180 Islamic State fighters, while at least 20 more were killed by Kurdish ground forces.
The video was released as Islamic State forces have suffered a series of military setbacks, including the recapture of a key dam in Syria.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took the Tishreen Dam on the Euphrates River, just 13 miles north of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. The move was intended to further impede Islamic State access to the Turkish border via the town of Manbij.
In a 24-minute audio message, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi warned of difficult times ahead, saying that “the whole world” is united against the Islamic State.
“Do not be amazed by the meeting of the nations of disbelief and groups against the Islamic State,” says al-Baghdadi. “If we are killed and the wounds are numerous and the problems amassed against us and the hardships are great, then it is no surprise either.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.