Recently, a video was uploaded to liveleak, showing pro-Assad forces in action, apparently around Aleppo. While this is nothing new whatsoever (pro-Assad forces posting videos of their alleged victories, armed forces’ members, and so on are very common), the nature of these two men is very interesting – they are Syrians of Armenian descent, and previously lived in the US, before being deported back to Syria for various criminal offenses.

The video opens and shows the men stood behind a ruined wall, addressing the camera and cradling their weapons. They cuss frequently, talk about their “homies”, the gangs (the Armenian Power Gang and the Sureno Gang) they belong to, and fire shots at unseen (and probably non-existent) targets, albeit very inaccurately. Their speech is peppered with gang-based slang, as they describe themselves as being from the “west-side”, “in the Middle East homie, gang bangin’ and not givin’ a fuck, homie…” One shows off his “g’d up” “gang” tattoos, urging us to check them out, because they’re “still gang-bangin’ this shit homie”, even though they’re not longer in the US. The video was also posted to YouTube:

But don’t take my word for it. See the video here for yourself. I was surprised, but not shocked upon seeing it. Half the world seems to be fighting in Syria for Assad – North Koreans, Hezbollah forces, Iranians, you name it:

The concept of Americans fighting in Syria is hardly a new phenomenon. Eric Harroun of Arizona fought there, as did Nicole Mansfield, Amiir Farouk Ibrahim (presumably), Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen (whose case is dealt with in my previous article), etc. In fact, the FBI estimates that there are at least 70 Americans fighting in Syria currently, and many have already returned.

But what IS new is the fact that these individuals are fighting for Assad, and are Armenian-Syrians who had previously settled in the US, only to be deported back to Syria for criminal offenses, in 2010 and 2012. The man identifying himself as ‘Wino’ is really Nerses Kilajyan, sent back to Syria in 2010. ‘Creeper’ was deported in 2012.

Armenian militias have been active in Aleppo in support of the Assad regime, and the regime has played on their fear of Islamist bogeymen to try and get the minority’s support. It seems this sectarian link is the reason they chose to take their chances with Assad. ‘Creeper’ is linked to the GW-13 Gang in Sun Valley, and ‘Wino’ is a member of the Armenian power gang.

Another unusual thing is the fact that they are making no attempt to hide their identities whatsoever – in fact, in the typical style of thugs glorifying their crimes (which they have no doubt had plenty of experience of stateside), they openly bragged about it, and uploaded a copy of one of the videos to Facebook. The video was quickly discovered and pounced upon by shrewd social media prowlers – and in turn, the Facebook account of one of the “gang-bangers” was promptly discovered. There, even more boastful posts glorifying their violent actions alongside Hezbollah and Assad regime forces in Aleppo were discovered.

Most western fighters (aside from Harroun, and possibly one or two others) sensibly go to great lengths to conceal their identity from the public eye. This is no doubt because many have families at home who would understandably be very worried about them. Not only that, but various western governments have vowed to crack down harshly on anyone suspected of fighting there, to the extent that aid workers and humanitarian individuals are frequently harassed. Again, these individuals have no such reservations. Their every move is publicly documented on social media accounts, and regurgitated by enthusiastic, admiring followers back home.

These criminals (possibly indicating that they’re not too bright) seem to have no such reservations about openly revealing their identities. One can be given a name as a result of the discovery of his Facebook account. His name is Nerses Kilajen, but on Facebook he goes by “Wino Ayee Peeyakan” and lists his origins as Los Angeles, California. Judging from the number of tattoos he has, his aforementioned gang links (The Armenian Power Gang is subordinated to the Mexican Mafia) and his description of his educational qualifications (“Fuck Skool! Smoke a blunt!”) it is clear that he comes from a criminal underclass.

He has uploaded multiple photographs from his time in Syria to Facebook. In these pictures, he poses with weapons and cigarettes, appears shirtless to show off his gang tattoos, derides Obama in horrendously spelled-out posts (his lack 0f education again becomes obvious), and offers support to Hezbollah, even posing proudly in a Hezbollah uniform. Here are some photographs and screenshots from his (now closed) Facebook account. If he thinks closing his account will eliminate evidence of his terrorist activities, he’s sadly mistaken:

A shot of Wino's account, including his background.
A shot of Wino’s account, including his background.
Wino shows what an intellectual man he truly is...
Wino shows what an intellectual man he truly is…
Wino uses his brilliant grasp of the English language to eloquently deride Obama.
Wino uses his brilliant grasp of the English language to eloquently deride Obama.
Wino talks about his young daughter, whom he selfishly left behind to pursue a career in terrorism.
Wino talks about his young daughter, whom he selfishly left behind to pursue a career in terrorism.
Wino proudly poses in his new uniform - a uniform of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
Wino proudly poses in his new uniform – a uniform of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
A shot of the video Wino & friends so wisely decided to post publicly on social media.
A shot of the video Wino & friends so wisely decided to post publicly on social media.
Wino poses with one of his terrorist friends.
Wino poses with one of his terrorist friends.
The "brain-dead shabiha" look is so chic these days...
The “brain-dead shabiha” look is so chic these days…
Sophisticated, urbane wit abounds...
Sophisticated, urbane wit abounds…
Wino with some of his favourite toys, family members, & terrorists.
Wino with some of his favourite toys, family members, & terrorists.
The rustic, degenerate lifestyle of the shabiha is clearly to be desired.
The rustic, degenerate lifestyle of the shabiha is clearly to be desired.
Wino's thuggish photographs are swarmed upon by friends & admirers.
Wino’s thuggish photographs are swarmed upon by friends & admirers.
The terrorist trio, back front the front-line. If I've translated his horrendous spelling & grammar correctly, that is...
The terrorist trio, back front the front-line. If I’ve translated his horrendous spelling & grammar correctly, that is…
Wino openly lists the places around Aleppo he's visited. He clearly has no concerns about being monitored by intelligence agents.
Wino openly lists the places around Aleppo he’s visited. He clearly has no concerns about being monitored by intelligence agents.
Wino also posted a tribute to a fellow thug who was killed fighting for Assad.
Wino also posted a tribute to a fellow thug who was killed fighting for Assad.

Talk on his Facebook page indicates that he was deported from the US some five years ago, and has some serious resentment towards the US government. Given his Armenian heritage, resentment as a result of being deported & separated from family members, and the fact that Hezbollah has clearly reached out to him, he seems to have been firmly driven into the pro-Assad camp.

But what is certain is that he will definitely not be allowed back into the United States any time soon. If he attempts to re-enter the states or any other democratic country, he is likely to find himself clamped in handcuffs. There are at least 50 Americans (and probably many more) fighting against Assad – therefore these will certainly not be the first Americans fighting for him. But as of yet, they are the ones with the greatest paper-trail. ‘Wino’ seems to realise this, and his plan is the following: “Man im come back thru Mexico turn my self in do couple of yers and get out”. But will he or ‘Creeper’ have the bottle to go through with it?

*Note: Since this article, and numerous other articles, were published on these two ridiculous individuals, ‘Wino’ and ‘Creeper’ disappeared from social media. ‘Wino’ closed his Facebook account and no more videos from the two have emerged to date. According to a friend of his, this is because Jabhat al-Nusra is looking for him. Happy hunting lads!*

Ben Allinson-Davies is a worker for Radio Free Syria, blogger, and film-maker, who spent over a week in Syria with the people there, including revolutionary forces. His documentary on the revolution can be found here.

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