Military Review

Militants for the CIS. On the side of the opposition in Syria, hundreds of citizens of post-Soviet states are fighting

17

The civil war in Syria, which has been going on for two years, creates quite real threats to the security of Russia and the southern countries of the CIS. The fighting on the side of the Syrian opposition involved hundreds of citizens of the republics of the former USSR, who, upon returning to their homeland, are fully capable of becoming a headache for the security forces.


Back in November last year, official Damascus published lists of foreigners killed during the hostilities, in which the names of 142 people from 18 countries of the world, including 42 filed with Saudi Arabia, 24 - Libya, and also Afghans, Tunisians, Egyptians, Qatari, Lebanese, Turks , three Chechens and one Azerbaijani. Most of them, according to Syrian media, are members of Al-Qaida or joined after they arrived in Syria, where they got through Turkey or Lebanon. Information about participation in hostilities of people from the CIS appeared earlier.

In August, the death of the son of a famous Chechen field commander Ruslan Gelayev Rustam in Syria was reported, and in October, Syrian television reported the death of Abu-Bara Chechensky, who held the position of 3-second Deputy of the Brigade of Muhajirs.

According to the representative of the National Unity Committee of Syria in Russia, Philippe Sarraf, among the foreigners fighting in Syria, not financial, but ideological and religious motivation prevails. “It's even worse than al-Qaida.” They belong to her left wing. In fact, there are several tens of thousands, ”he said in an interview with the Internet-based newspaper“ Vzglyad ”,“ 142 people reported by the authorities, ”those who could be identified. The bodies of the fallen foreign fighters are doused with kerosene and set on fire so that they cannot be identified, because they are easy to distinguish from the Syrians. Many do not even speak Arabic. Among them are Afghans, Chechens, Uzbeks ... ”. Among the participants in the hostilities, as the newspaper notes, there can be not only representatives of the Caucasian peoples of the Russian Federation and people from Central Asia, but also ethnic Slavs.

The participation of Caucasians and Slavs in the fighting in Syria is documented. In October, a video was published on Youtube’s video portal recording the shelling by the militants of the opposition base of the 46 regiment of the Syrian paratroopers near the city of Atareb. In the caption to the video with the logo of the "Brigades of Islam", it says that the Sham battalion of muhajirs is fighting for the "46 base". The gunman who fires repeats “Bismill!” After each shot (the formula with which all suras of the Qur'an begin except the ninth; is pronounced during prayer, before beginning any important matter, written at the beginning of letters, official documents, etc. ). At the same time, the man behind the scenes in Russian speaks to the militant: “Everything, halas, is over,” and another voice with a Caucasian accent comments: “Oh, come on, come on!” “Oh, see, it’s killing.” The first voice adds “Shoot, Hamza!”, The second adds “Target in a flank!”, With which the first agrees “In the flank, everything, the last bullet remained”. The fighting for the base of the 46 regiment took about two months, on November 19 of 2012, it fell.

In the spring of this year, the participation of citizens of the republics of the former USSR in the fighting on the side of the Syrian opposition was officially confirmed. On April 8, the head of the Commonwealth Anti-Terrorist Center Andrei Novikov told Interfax that dozens of citizens of Russia and the CIS countries are fighting in Syria. On the Russian side, residents of the North Caucasian republics are participating in the hostilities, in respect of which, according to him, “necessary preventive measures” are being taken. According to the CIA, from July 2012 to May 2013, 280 foreigners were killed in Syria, including 60 citizens of Libya, 47 - Tunisia, 44 - Saudi Arabia, 32 - Jordan, 27 - Egypt, 20 - Lebanon, and also 5 exits Chechnya, 4 - from Dagestan and another 7 - from other regions of Russia.

In early June, the FSB director Alexander Bortnikov said that in Syria, about 200 citizens of Russia, who mostly come from the North Caucasus and are members of the “Caucasian Emirate” group, are fighting.
18 June Argumenty.ru, citing information from the Lebanese television channel Al-Manar, reported that more than 500 Russian citizens were killed in Syria, including 439 Chechens and 188 residents of other North Caucasian republics.

On the side of the Syrian opposition, citizens of other post-Soviet states that are part of the zone of the traditional spread of Islam are also actively fighting. In many of them there is a difficult political and economic situation, and the return of militants who have gained combat experience can complicate it noticeably. In April, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan reported that at least five citizens from the ages from 18 to 36 had left for Syria to fight. In May, Radio Ozodi (the Tajik service of Radio Liberty) confirmed that natives of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are fighting in the ranks of the rebels. According to him, recently three Syrian Tajiks were killed in Syria, and the Kyrgyz security services returned home to two Kyrgyz who fought on the side of the "rebels". It clarifies the "Ferghana.ru", the citizens of Kyrgyzstan were returned home as a result of active work with the participation of close relatives and deputies of the Zhogorku Kenesh (Supreme Council). 9 and 23 May AA returned to Kyrgyzstan. Jalalov, 1978 year of birth, and Tashbaltaev AM, 1984 year of birth, which after preventive conversations were transferred to parents. Both of them are natives of the city of Kyzyl-Kiya, located in the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan. It is worth noting that residents of the southern regions, which traditionally have a higher level of Islamization of the population, strive to make war in Syria.

In May, the information about the death in Syria of three citizens of Tajikistan was confirmed by the representative of the State Committee for National Security Eom Melikov. Another 11 Tajiks according to his data in recent years have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the beginning of this year, the 9 wives of Tajiks killed abroad were returned to the republic. According to the deputy chairman of the GKNB, Mansurjon Umarov, his department has information about the participation of Tajiks in the Syrian civil war, although their exact number is unknown. “As a rule, these people underwent special training outside the republic,” he noted, “and the route of their transfer to Syria is traditional - in transit through one of the third countries.”

23 May at a meeting with young people expressed concern over the prospect of involvement in the activities of Islamist organizations of Tajiks who went abroad and the President of the country Emomali Rahmon.

“Young people and adolescents go abroad, they enter there in semi-underground religious educational institutions and become easy prey for fanatics,” he stressed. To prevent such incidents, it was forbidden to train citizens of a country in foreign religious institutions. Nevertheless, according to some data, in underground foreign madrassas continues to be trained up to 1000 citizens of Tajikistan.

One can only guess at the question of how many residents of the Central Asian republics are really fighting on the side of the Syrian opposition. According to Pravda, published by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, dozens, if not hundreds of inhabitants of the region, who are recruited in mosques, are fighting in the ranks of militants. In April, the deputy of the Kyrgyz Parliament from the opposition Ata-Zhurt party, Dastan Zhumabekov, said that parents of young people from Osh Oblast addressed him, telling that their children were being recruited from mosques, after which they left for Syria to fight. A few days later, the Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed this information, specifying that seven people had left for Kyzyl-Kiya only to Syria, and 15 natives of the republic are in Turkey and can also go to civil war. In addition to the Batken region, information appeared about the facts of recruitment of residents of the Aravan and Nookat districts of the Osh region, which, apparently, began this spring. According to Mametbek Myrzabayev, the head of the department for international relations, analytics and religious organizations of the State Commission for Religious Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, the recruited Kyrgyz began to leave for Turkey on March 20, and the sources of funding for their trip are still not clear. In addition, Washington recently hosted a presentation of a joint report by the Institute of the Middle East and Flashpoint Global Partners, which refers to the death of a citizen of Uzbekistan who fought in the opposition.

According to Argumentov.ru, the number of Uzbeks killed in Syria has already reached 40 people.

23-24 June, the Russia-1 and Russia-24 TV channels showed the story of Ravshan Gazakov, a citizen of Turkmenistan, who was captured by Syrian troops during the Northern Storm operation and was the commander of the bombers in one of the units of the Al- Qaida ”in Aleppo. “Initial training was held near Ashgabat in the detachment of Sheikh Murad, after he was transferred to Istanbul,” he said during the interrogation. “There, our group was met by the curator from Al-Qaeda, I don’t know his name, and sent us to the camp border with Syria. There we were taught to make bombs, detonators, set charges. The instructors were different, many from the former USSR, from Europe, Arabs, from Jordan and Qatar. Then we crossed the border and made bombs near Aleppo. ” On the laptop captured from R. Gazakov, there are video frames, where he escorts his subordinate to death, setting the task to blow himself up at an army checkpoint near the city prison of Aleppo. With this task, the bomber coped.

The day after the release of the story, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry declared it to be misinformation, arguing that “reports of this kind, based on inaccurate information, do not correspond to the spirit of positively developing Turkmen-Russian relations, are a violation of elementary norms of journalistic ethics and are viewed by the Turkmen side as attempts to misinform the audience ". Ferghana.ru, meanwhile, notes that the videotape of interrogation of Turkmen “jihadists” in Damascus was published on YouTube YouTube 14 this June. In addition to R. Gazakov himself, there are four people in the frame who, as they explain, came from Turkmenistan to “conduct jihad for the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria” and were detained near Aleppo. The Turkmen secret services were aware of the detention of citizens of the republic in Syria even before this story was shown on Russian television. A few weeks ago, officers of the Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan were sent to Turkey to search for compatriots detained for violating the visa regime. According to the publication, underground Wahhabi cells exist in Turkmenistan itself, and more recently they have been intensifying.

According to some reports, participants in the hostilities in Afghanistan and the Middle East periodically return to the republic for treatment and rest, contributing to the spread of the Wahhabi version of Islam at home.

On the territory of Turkmenistan, there are even entire auls of “Wahhabis”, where alcohol, satellite dishes are prohibited, mutual aid offices, “morality police”, etc., operate.

One of the main suppliers of extremists for the CIS countries is Afghanistan. In June, a joint operation of government troops and NATO was conducted on the territory of the Afghan province of Kunduz bordering with Tajikistan, as a result of which 20 militants were killed and 5 people from Central Asian states were detained. All of them turned out to be participants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, who underwent training in North Waziristan and subsequently found themselves as mercenaries on the border with Tajikistan. In the past three years, it was precisely the border provinces that became their concentration site, which, according to Tajik analysts, is by no means accidental. "They are located in Badakhshan, Kunduz, that is, along the entire perimeter of the Tajik-Afghan border," said the director of the Center for Research in Afghanistan and the region, Kosimsho Iskandarov, in an interview with the Voice of Russia, "There are forces, including foreign states, that can seriously use these groups to create just a crisis situation in the region. There is a lot of talk about the Fergana Valley project. One of the American colonels said that if the situation in Fergana deteriorates, the Americans will definitely intervene. That is, a crisis situation is created, and then intervention follows. ”

The danger that comes from the citizens of the post-Soviet states that are fighting on the side of the Syrian opposition was rather late by the special services.

Moreover, most of them, apparently, are still in Syria, where active hostilities continue. However, the situation in many regions of the former USSR after their return can change dramatically, and not at all for the better.
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  1. papss
    papss 12 July 2013 07: 58 New
    +6
    And all this "rabble" ... learns to kill in Syria, and then comes to Russia ... The Russian state elite must always remember this and continue to provide Syria with the maximum possible support ... whatever the Western countries and their media would say
    1. self-propelled
      self-propelled 12 July 2013 10: 42 New
      +1
      Quote: papss
      And all this "rabble" ... learning to kill in Syria

      I think this is not the problem. need to look deeper. as soon as the craze for “independence” began in the post-Soviet expanse (and, as a result, the collapse of the entire Soviet system, including the defense one), “free arrows” appeared (people who served in the army under the USSR and were specialists in their in fact, in no time remained out of work). what should they do? to retrain for new, peaceful, specialties? this is problematic (especially considering the “desire” of our politicians to contribute to this process). there is only one way out - to find a job in the specialty. and former Soviet "advisers" began to appear in the former Yugoslavia, Chechnya, etc. (The geography will be quite extensive, if you look at it. and the conflict 08. 08. 08 is another confirmation of this). now Syria. what to do to people whom many summers taught to fight? in no way do I condone the “soldier of fortune”, moreover, all kinds of “radicals” have appeared now (and by and large are simply maniacs). but, as they say, a fact on the face ... alas ... request
    2. Airman
      Airman 12 July 2013 23: 20 New
      +1
      Quote: papss
      And all this "rabble" ... learns to kill in Syria, and then comes to Russia ... The Russian state elite must always remember this and continue to provide Syria with the maximum possible support ... whatever the Western countries and their media would say

      And where is the FSB border guard, and where is the FSB? Or do they only guard those in power? How do African prostitutes illegally appear in MOSCOW? For hell, do these 350 “dependents” get “SALARY” 000 times higher than a combined-arms officer?
      Official data: the number of FSB-350 000 people, without FSO.
  2. serge-68-68
    serge-68-68 12 July 2013 08: 10 New
    +1
    The radical groups operating in the CIS have long had no problems with the training and "running in" of militants - Afghanistan. A couple of hundred Syrian "tourists" will not greatly change the picture. Well, if only in terms of gaining experience in fighting in cities ...
  3. domokl
    domokl 12 July 2013 08: 27 New
    +2
    It is written correctly. But there is another category of such post-Soviet ones. Where do the former militants from Chechnya go, for example? Where do the others who left and did not find themselves outside their countries disappear? The majority, after all, are not fanatics, but professional mercenaries.
    The position of our countries in relation to them is not clear. A mercenary in any country of the world is not a man. He is outlawed and must be liquidated without trial. Why mercenaries whose guilt has been proven to become citizens again? Opportunity * to fight a little *, and then become law-abiding again citizen leads to the fact that the boys flee to war to become heroes, rich, to feel like men.
    Mercenaries, regardless of what they are fighting for, must become outcasts. Otherwise, we get well-trained and, most importantly, able and willing to kill, beasts in our society. We rehabilitate former war veterans in a way, many commit crimes. mercenaries are not controlled at all.
  4. Stiletto
    Stiletto 12 July 2013 09: 19 New
    +4
    Quote: papss
    And all this "rabble" ... learns to kill in Syria, and then comes to Russia ...


    Fortunately, not all, thanks to the Syrian brothers.
  5. Yuri Y.
    Yuri Y. 12 July 2013 09: 33 New
    0
    Quote: domokl
    A mercenary in any country of the world is not a person.

    Not necessarily, in France there is a Foreign Legion. And in Syria alone
    the hope is that the army will “capitalize” them.
    1. domokl
      domokl 12 July 2013 14: 49 New
      -1
      Quote: Yuri I.
      Not necessarily, in France there is a Foreign Legion

      You are wrong. The foreign legion of France is part of the armed forces of the state. It is France that does not fall under the UN Convention. Mercenaries are equated with criminals, according to the same document.
  6. dc120mm
    dc120mm 12 July 2013 10: 26 New
    0
    Very dangerous tendency.

    Intelligence agencies must be careful.
  7. kNow
    kNow 12 July 2013 10: 41 New
    +1
    On the one hand, it’s good, our air will become cleaner, on the other hand, our citizens are all the same ...
  8. makst83
    makst83 12 July 2013 11: 03 New
    0
    “Necessary preventive measures” is how !? They threatened with a finger, talked and let go !?
  9. Leisure
    Leisure 12 July 2013 11: 11 New
    +3
    Their return is not desirable, therefore it is necessary that all the "tourists" remain in Syria, to fertilize the soil.
  10. Simon
    Simon 12 July 2013 11: 31 New
    +1
    Syria should be helped with modern weapons, so that more scum would die there, and if it’s Ostanets, then they should be taken up by the special services, which I think they have been doing for a long time. yes hi
    1. Knizhnik
      Knizhnik 12 July 2013 12: 37 New
      +2
      Or declare a set of volunteers to fight for the Syrian army
  11. varov14
    varov14 12 July 2013 13: 00 New
    0
    "Hundreds of citizens of the republics of the former USSR are participating in the hostilities on the side of the Syrian opposition, who, upon returning to their homeland, are quite capable of becoming a headache for law enforcement agencies." do it.
  12. The comment was deleted.
  13. knn54
    knn54 12 July 2013 13: 13 New
    +1
    -The danger that emanates from post-Soviet citizens fighting on the side of the Syrian opposition was estimated rather late by the security services.
    .In April, Dzhatab Zhumabekov, the Kyrgyz parliament’s deputy from the Ata-Zhurt opposition party, said that he was approached by parents of young people from Osh oblast who said that their children were recruited in mosques, after which they went to fight in Syria. A few days later, the Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed this information, clarifying that only seven people left the city of Kyzyl-Kiya (a district center, a mining town), and another 15 natives of the republic are in Turkey and can also go to civil war.
    .On the territory of Turkmenistan there are even whole villages of “Wahhabis” where alcohol, satellite dishes are prohibited, mutual assistance cash desks, “customs police”, etc.
    In June, a joint operation of government forces and NATO was conducted in the Afghan province of Kunduz, which borders with Tajikistan, as a result of which 20 militants were killed and 5 immigrants from Central Asian states were detained. They all turned out to be participants in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, trained in North Waziristan and subsequently found themselves as mercenaries on the border with Tajikistan. In the past three years, it was the border provinces that became the place of their concentration, which, according to Tajik analysts, is by no means accidental. “They are located in Badakhshan, Kunduz, that is, along the entire perimeter of the Tajik-Afghan border,” said Kosimsho Iskandarov, director of the Center for Research in Afghanistan and the Region, in an interview with Voice of Russia, “And there are forces, including foreign states, that can seriously use these groups to create just a crisis in the region.
    Despite the allegations by the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, that his fellow countrymen did not go to the Middle East, the latest fact related to the death of Rustam Gelayev indicates the opposite. According to some reports, a whole battalion of Chechens numbering up to 600 people is operating in Syria, "... those militants who are still there, no longer have a homeland." And the whole tale.
    The authorities will learn about the participation of residents of post-Soviet republics in the Syrian conflict post hoc. This indicates the weak work of special services and almost zero control over the activities of religious organizations. Indifference and non-professionalism will play a cruel joke with the Central Asian regimes.
    There is no article in Russian law condemning UBD if they did not fight against the Russian Federation!
    PS In the Leningrad Region alone there are more than 3 million guest workers — at a minimum it is at least 3 divisions (1%). And when the pros (ready-made commanders) begin to return from Syria (and not only) a little ...
  14. Fetel
    Fetel 12 July 2013 15: 14 New
    0
    And all this is called the "Syrian people."