Caucasian militants form own group in Syria

Caucasian militants in Syria (file photo).
Caucasian militants in Syria (file photo).
A foreign-backed militant in Syria has said militants from the Caucasus have formed an independent force to fight the Syrian army forces.

In a video posted online Wednesday by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a man wearing a camouflage uniform is seen standing among other militants, who he says have come to Syria from the Caucasus and Russia to wage war against the Syrian government.

The group is called “The Mujahedin of the Caucasus and the Levant”. The man claims the group has no links with al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant groups which are among the most effective opposition forces.

Rami Abdel-Rahman, the Observatory's chief, said the video was taken in the northern Idlib province.

Thousands of foreign-backed militants have joined the war in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011.

Over hundreds of Chechen and Caucasian militants have entered Syria via Turkey in order to kill Syrian government forces and civilians.

Russian daily of Kommersant has quoted a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying that some military bases in Chechnya train militants to dispatch them to Syria, and the Chechen ringleader Moein Abu Musab supervises them in fighting against Syria.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has said foreign intelligence services are trying to recruit young people from Chechnya to fight along with militants against Syria.

NTJ/HH

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