Militants from Central Asia forming new ethnic groups in Syria: political expert17 september 2014, 00:23
Militants from Central Asia are forming new ethnic groups in Syria, according to Yerlan Karin, a political scientist. The expert provided a report on participation of Central Asia residents in extremist operations in the Middle East.
According to him, formation of ethnic groups orchestrated by large alliances such as the Islamic State is a new type of threats. He emphasized that Syria had seen an Uzbek Imam Bukhari jamaat emerge, with some rumors of an Uzbek and Dagestani jamaat known as Sabiri's jamaat joining the Islamic State. The expert highlighted that, according to video footage, the troops are heavily armed, which testifies to strong financing of the operations.
He cited some data on Central Asia-born militants involved in military operations in Syria. According to some open Syrian sources, the Islamists troops comprise around 250 Kazakhstan-born, 100 Kyrgyzstan-born, 190 Tajikistan-born, 500 Uzbekistan-born and around 360 Turkmenistan-born militants. The official figures obtained from intelligent services are slightly lower. Mr. Karin elaborated that most foreign participants of the conflict are citizens of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, North Caucasus, Iraq. Militants coming from Europe, China, the Philippines and Indonesia are also growing active.
When it comes to Kazakhstanis potentially involved in the mentioned above ethnic groups, East, Central and North Kazakhstan are starting to supply radical ideas and groups, complementing Southern Kazakhstan, the expert said. According to him, reasons to join the military operations vary from tough living conditions to deception and zeal.
He said that Kazakhstanis and other ethnic groups oftentimes appear in promotional videos run by a number of dedicated websites. Earlier he commented on a video featuring a Syrian militant named Abu-Anis telling allegedly in Kazakh about his intentions. The political analyst suggests the video is a manipulation tool. He assumed the video relied on old footage going back to at least half a year ago, adding that possible involvement of Kazakhstanis in military operations in Syria is anyway an alarming issue.