Russia Sending Chechens Policeman in Syria

Five squadrons of Russian Federations Police were sent in Syria. These Squadrons are mainly composed of Chechens policemen -Sunnis Muslims- that have been sent in Syria the 4th of December. Their mission is to “protect the civilians of Aleppo and the recently liberated territories against petty crimes and exactions” explains a source of the Russian […]

Five squadrons of Russian Federations Police were sent in Syria. These Squadrons are mainly composed of Chechens policemen -Sunnis Muslims- that have been sent in Syria the 4th of December. Their mission is to “protect the civilians of Aleppo and the recently liberated territories against petty crimes and exactions” explains a source of the Russian Military Police interrogated by the Russian Newspaper Gazeta.ru.  

According to reports in the Russian media, Chechen fighters will guard crucial infrastructure, civilian and military objects in Syria. Russian experts suggest that at least a part of Chechen fighters will be dispatched to the city of Aleppo. There are little doubts that the city will be liberated soon and the Syrian government will need assistance to improve  humanitarian and security situation in the city.

Plusieurs escadrons de police militaire de la Fédération de Russie composés de Tchétchènes – musulmans sunnites – ont été envoyés en Syrie dimanche 4 décembre, rapporte le quotidien en ligne russe Gazeta.ru. “Leur mission consiste à protéger les civils d’Alep et des territoires récemment libérés contre le maraudage ou autres exactions”, explique une source proche de la police militaire russe, interrogée par le titre. Cette dernière précise que la Russie s’est engagée à protéger la population civile musulmane sunnite contre toute agression en provenance de formations armées chiites, lors de ses négociations avec la Turquie.

Earlier, the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced that some Chechen units already operate in Syria along with other units of the Russian Special Forces.

An alleged discipling of the mufti of the Republic of Chechnya for Chechen fighters before the deployment to Syria is also available online.

The battalions will be allegedly deployed and functioning within the government-controlled territory of Syria, the sources say.

The “Vostok” and “Zapad” special forces unit were formed in 2003 in Chechnya, a Russian autonomous region that had suffered two devastating wars against Moscow government in the 1990s. The mentioned units were being staffed with predominantly Muslim Chechen servicemen, so these special force battalions are sometimes informally called “the Chechen Spetsnaz”.

The RFE/RL has published an amateur video with the alleged “Vostok” and “Zapad” fighters getting ready to be transported to Syria at the Khankal airbase near Grozny, Chechnya.

An Interesting fact is that  the Chechen fighters are noted to be clean-shaven, which is unusual for strict Muslims. The media sources claim it was arranged this way in order to distinguish the Chechen special force fighters from ethnic Chechens fighting on the IS side.

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