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Posted: March 04, 2014

Have these L.A. gang members joined the war in Syria?

Stock image via Getty Images

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            Have these L.A. gang members joined the war in Syria?
Stock image via Getty Images

By Elizabeth Hagedorn

LOS ANGELES —

​The crime-ridden streets of L.A. must have seemed like child's play compared to warn-torn Syria. 

"Let me represent myself, homie. It's Creeper from the g'd up 13 gang, homie."

 Next to Creeper there is a man who calls himself Wino. Together, the pair claim to be Los Angeles gang members now on the "frontline" in Syria. (Via The Middle East Media Research Institute

They go on to give shout-outs to some friends before indiscriminately shooting off a few rounds. But Wino and Creeper give little in the way of an explanation for what they're actually doing there.  

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Here's what we can tell based on a Facebook account that appears to belong to Wino. He's apparently spent some time in Aleppo posing with other men dressed in what analysts say are Hezbollah uniforms. Judging by his Facebook Likes, he's a fan of Jesus, Al Pacino and Pizza Hut. 

The Middle East Media Research Institute, which first reported on the video, offers more insight in a statement: "Comments by Wino's Facebook friends suggest that the two were deported from the U.S. due to their involvement in criminal activity." 

To be clear, no one has been able to independently verify whether the video was actually shot in Syria, and it's also not clear whether the two men are U.S. citizens. If they are, it'd be a first.

As Liz Sly at The Washington Post notes, although at least 50 Americans are thought to have fought alongside the rebels, there have been no reports of U.S. citizens fighting for the Syrian regime since the war began nearly three years ago. 

Rafael Green at The Middle East Media Research Institute says he believes the bizarre video is authentic but doubts the two men are American, telling Fox News, "What would bring these guys to a war that's not theirs?"

So far, no word from the U.S. State Department on whether these guys are the real deal. 

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