#AceNewsServices (Opinion) – September 21 – Russia, which has criticized U.S. plans to launch strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria, could soon become a victim of the militant group, whose members include extremists from Chechnya.
Courtesy of DAHBOO77
The Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence firm, estimated in June that some 200 Chechen fighters were involved in the Syrian conflict.
Earlier this month, ISIS jihadists released a video threatening Russia shortly after they captured an air base in Raqqa, eastern Syria, and seized Russian-made fighter jets.
In the video, a militant said: “This message is addressed to you, oh Vladimir Putin. These are your aircraft which you sent to [Syrian President] Bashar [al-Assad], and with the help of Allah we’ll send them back to you. Remember this. And with the permission of Allah, we’ll liberate Chechnya and all the Caucasus.”
Marvin Kalb, a senior adviser to the Washington-based Pulitzer Center, told Al Arabiya News: “Putin worries constantly about local insurgents getting field training in Syria, or now in ISIS, and then returning to Russia to implement their new skills.
“Putin doesn’t want them back in Russia, and this is a chronic nightmare for him.”
Alex Melikishvili, a senior analyst at U.S.-based research giant IHS, said it is “entirely conceivable” that returning ISIS fighters would wage war against Russia, just as Chechen insurgents have done over the last two decades.
“The longer it takes to destroy ISIS, the higher the likelihood that some of its battle-hardened militants will make their way to the North Caucasus,” Melikishvili told Al Arabiya News.
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