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The video of two men from the Los Angeles area claiming to be gang members went viral on YouTube. The two men are fighting in Syria’s civil war and are showing off their rifles, and their pride in their gang, in the short video. In the video, it is evident that they are fighting for President Bashar al-Assad.
CNN reports that the intense and profanity-filled video discloses the identity of the two men. The two gang members are Nerses Kilajyan, also known as “Wino” from the Westide Armenian Power gang, and “Creeper,” who is from the Sun Valley GW-13 gang.
The video recently went public by the Washington-based organization, the Middle East Media Research Institute. Executive director, Steven Stalinksy, released a statement regarding the video.
He said, "This is very unique because these guys are over there, and they are with the pro-Syria forces and pro-Hezbollah forces. We have been monitoring foreign fighters over the years, and there has been a handful of Americans going to fight, but they have been going to fight against Assad."
This also sparked the interest of FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces. Ari Dekofsk, an FBI spokesperson, said that there is an investigation in the process to determine if there is a threat to Americans, or to U.S. interests. No other comments were released in regards to the situation.
Washington Post reports that the two men do not disclose their reason behind fighting for Assad in the video, but do promote their gang affiliation.
Wino says, "It's Syria, homie, we're in Syria, homie. ... Frontline, homie, frontline, homie," and Creeper adds, "In Middle East, homie, in Syria, still gangbanging."
In the video, Creeper rolls up his sleeves to show off his gang related tattoos and shouts out to “Capone-E” and “Crazy Loco.” Being from Sur-13, there is a loose connection to southern California’s gangs that are tied to the Mexican Mafia. The video can be seen here.