Monday, April 7, 2014

Syrians suffer as al-Qaeda, Chechen fighters pursue their own agendas

Waleed Abu al-Khair
April 4, 2014

In the past year, a plethora of press reports and video clips has surfaced on Chechens, among other Caucasus fighters, fighting alongside Islamist groups in Syria.

These Chechens have fought alongside the al-Qaeda-linked “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) and Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN), al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, despites fractures and tensions with these groups, as each seeks to establish its own caliphate in the region, analysts told Al-Shorfa.

“The presence of Chechen fighters in Syria is linked to al-Qaeda and its branches in Syria,” said strategy analyst Maj. Gen. Yahya Mohammed Ali, who is retired from the Egyptian army. “Since they began arriving, they joined ISIL, JAN and other battalions and factions” that subscribe to the ideology of al-Qaeda.

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