Syria and the North Caucasus Islamist flow: Russian Federation and its major weak spot
Syria and the North Caucasus Islamist flow: Russian Federation and its major weak spot
Ramazan Khalidov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
NATO Turkey is an open conduit for international terrorists and a place to obtain weapons in order to commit barbarity against the people of Syria. Not surprisingly, major NATO powers like America, France, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, are exploiting their past collective deeds in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and throughout the Caucasus region. This applies to major coordination when it comes to military supplies, terrorist networks, spreading propaganda with the help of the media and radical Salafi preachers, providing logistics, planning operations and other important areas. Of course, the central link in the chain is Gulf petrodollars because Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and other Gulf states, are involved in spreading sectarianism, terrorism, and sedition. Like usual, these feudal Gulf nation states buy what they can’t openly do themselves. Therefore, major NATO powers and international jihadists are all sharing the same “Riyadh and Doha bed.”
After more than 30 months of conflict in Syria the mass media continues to peddle the same distortions and manipulations. Of course, this isn’t surprising – after all, look at the enemies of Syria and then focus on which nations control the mass media. The upshot of all this is that many international jihadists have flocked to Syria because of mass distortions which have been perpetrated by powerful international politicians, Islamist sectarian clerics and the mass media.
In truth, Syria opened its borders to fleeing Palestinians who lost their land and the government of Bashar al-Assad also welcomed over one million Iraqis fleeing the nightmare created by Western powers. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians are Sunni Muslim and at no point did the government of Bashar al-Assad concern itself by the religious affiliation of fleeing Iraqis. Therefore, Syria welcomed vast numbers of people from Iraq irrespective if Christian, Shia Muslim or Sunni Muslim. However, this doesn’t suit the anti-Syria agenda because at no point did Iraqi refugees fear residing under the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. On the contrary, Iraqi refugees were fleeing the carnage created by major Western powers and the pro-sectarian policies of Saudi Arabia.
Recently, Sergei Smirnov, a senior figure within the Federal Security Service (FBS), indicated that approximately 300 to 400 citizens of the Russian Federation were involved in the conflict in Syria. This figure appear well below the actual numbers involved because Islamist terrorists from the Caucasus region and other parts of the Russian Federation are a visible reality in several areas of Syria. Likewise, many planned attacks against military bases have witnessed a major role played by Caucasus Islamists from Chechnya, Dagestan and other parts of this region. Similarly, several brutal beheading videos involved Islamist terrorists from the North Caucasus region.
Despite the issue involving the real number of terrorists from the Russian Federation, which are involved in attacking the government of Syria, the Kurds in the north and various religious minorities. Smirnov, from the FBS, states that “They will come back and that, naturally, is posing a serious danger.”
Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, had denied any involvement of Chechens fighting in Syria in 2012 but of course he was forced to backtrack because of clear evidence that the Chechen angle is potent in Syria. It is alleged by Kadyrov, and others, that foreign agents representing several international security services are enticing terrorists from Chechnya to enter the Syrian quagmire. This does have credence because the Caucasus angle in the early period was extremely minimal. However, from the middle of 2012 onwards then suddenly it became apparent that a new sectarian, mercenary, and terrorist dynamic, was entering Syria from this part of the world.
The Jamestown Federation reports that “Kadyrov is understandably anxious about the involvement of Chechens in the Syrian war, given that persistent reports of this type could anger his superiors in Moscow. Indeed, it appears that the majority of Russian participants in the war in Syria are ethnic Chechens, even though other ethnic groups from the North Caucasus and the Russian Federation in general are also involved. A Chechen interior ministry official told the Kavkazsky Uzel (Caucasian Knot) website that 200–500 residents of Chechnya may be fighting in Syria. According to the official, young people from Chechnya first travel to Azerbaijan, from where they travel to Turkey and then on to Syria. “Young people are lured there by allegations that there is ‘jihad’ going on and that there is a fatwa by famous Islamic scholars about that,” the official was quoted as saying. “So they think that participating in the Syrian war is the direct obligation of every faithful Muslim.”
After the sizeable Chechen contingent you have approximately 500 to 700 sectarian terrorists and mercenaries from Dagestan according to several different sources (this figure is debated). Other ethnic groups represented by several hundred sectarians fighting in Syria include Tatars and Bashkirs from the Middle Volga region of the Russian Federation. Indeed, even in parts of the North Caucasus where Muslims are a minority you still have sectarian terrorists entering Syria from places like North Ossetia. This should collectively set off alarm bells in Moscow because if so many terrorists from the Russian Federation are entering Syria despite the closeness of both these nations; then obviously central control and unity isn’t working to the full. Therefore, the enemies of the Russian Federation know the weakness of this federation and that pushing the sectarian and Salafi button will further undermine central authority.
Another alarming reality is that in parts of the North Caucasus region you have areas with a rapidly declining Orthodox Christian population. If this isn’t reversed – or at least checked – then Moscow will lose its influence naturally. Of course, the enemies of the Russian Federation can further create a rift between many parts of the North Caucasus and the power base of Moscow by utilizing Islamist militancy. This reality shows that Syria is not so distant because if this nation becomes a failed state then another Afghanistan and northern Pakistan may materialize. If this does happen, then clearly Islamist Takfiri forces, Gulf powers and the intrigues of some Western powers will have a fresh foothold in order to weaken the Russian Federation. After all, while the Warsaw Pact was dismantled the growing membership of NATO keeps on moving eastwards. In other words, it is clear that Moscow is deemed a threat while this nation remains independent therefore containment and expansion polices are already in place.
In another article by Modern Tokyo Times about Syria it was stated that “The growing menace of Chechen and Caucasus Islamists – and the role of Salafi indoctrination in Syria- should lead to the Russian Federation taking action. This applies to sending covert operatives to take out leading Islamist terrorists by working with the Syrian armed forces; providing major intelligence to the government of Syria; increasing military hardware of greater sophistication which suits the nature of the conflict; and by providing greater economic assistance. Also, political leaders in Moscow must raise this question seriously with Turkey because clearly this nation is a conduit for major terrorist and military ratlines which are anti-Syrian government. Similarly, the petrodollars of the Gulf are spreading the dangerous Salafi ideology and this fact needs to be raised.”
In the last few weeks you have had the Al-Shabab (Al-Shabaab) slaughtering in Kenya; several powerful terrorist attacks in Pakistan whereby Christians and Shia Muslims have been targeted; brutal attacks in Nigeria including Boko Haram slaughtering students and killing Christians; many terrorist attacks in Iraq; and increasingly the Sinai is becoming more unstable. However, the West is extremely inconsistent when it applies to the crisis in Syria because powerful NATO powers are siding with the forces of the FSA and various al-Qaeda sectarian groups. Terrorism can’t be switched on and off when it suits. Therefore, the Russian Federation must view this open manipulation policy by Gulf and Western nations and take precautions. One major precaution is supporting the government of Syria in overcoming the treachery of many nations. If not, then the changing sands in Syria could create a fresh whirlwind in the Caucasus region because enemies – or false friends – always focus on weak spots.
The Kavkaz Center website, a propaganda vehicle for Chechen and Caucasus Islamists, stated around two months ago that “Troops of the Northern Directorate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham began a decisive attack on the positions of Assadites, anchored on the territory of an important strategic facility – airport Minnag near Aleppo.”
Kavkaz continued by stating that “Recently, Emir of the Army of Emigrants of Supporters, Omar al-Chechen, was appointed to the post of the commander of the Northern Directorate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. Most forces of the Mujahideen in northern Syria came under his command.”
The Jamestown Foundation reports that “The Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (Army of Emigrants and Helpers) brigade is made up of Chechens and North Caucasians, but, unsurprisingly, the group also contains a large number of local Arabs, so the total number of people in the brigade could be 1,500. An ethnic Chechen from Georgia, Abu Umar Shishani (a.k.a. Umar Gorgashvili), is the leader of this group. In the past, Gorgashvili fought in Chechnya and served in the Georgian special forces during the 2008 war with Russia (www.rosbalt.ru/main/2013/08/20/1166093.html). Since last summer, Gorgashvili has been elevated to the position of the commander of the northern sector of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (http://shamcenter.info/news/92/134/obraschenie-komanduyuschego-severnym-napravleniem-islamskogo-gosudarstva-iraka-i-shama-amira-umara-ash-shishani/d,detail-de/). There are also other well-known Chechen commanders, such as Emir Muslim (Muslim Margoshvili), Emir Seifullah (Ruslan Machaliashvili), Emir Salakhdin and Emir Abu-Musaaba (Musa). Emir Seifullah was expelled from Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar for embezzlement and erroneous interpretation of Islamic values during a time of jihad and his actions during jihad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU6K1mq38jw).”
The collective intrigues of America, France, Georgia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, towards Syria – and their respective policies in the North Caucasus region – should alarm the Russian Federation because the same intrigues are aimed at Moscow. Kadyrov stated that secret agencies were actively involved in recruiting Caucasus terrorists and mercenaries. Therefore, the growing influence of this group does give credence towards a powerful enacted outside force and clearly Georgia and Turkey provide a natural geopolitical reality to the linkage between the Russian Federation and Syria.
It remains to be seen if the Russian Federation will take sterner approaches towards nations that threaten the national security of this nation. If the Russian Federation does act more vigorously; then the current Syrian government needs more support in all areas. This is based on Syria being on the frontline in the war against terrorism and the intrigues of Gulf and Western powers, which view the Russian Federation with suspicion.
http://www.jamestown.org/ The Jamestown Foundation –
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