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Video of Kazakhstanis in Syria is a manipulation: political expert

02 september 2014, 15:24
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Still of the video reported by KTK TV channel
Still of the video reported by KTK TV channel

Kazakh political analyst Yerlan Karin called the video purporting to show Kazakhstani citizens fighting in Syria an information manipulation, Tengrinews reports.

The video, reported by Kazakhstan's KTK TV Channel, shows a group of militants, demonstrating their weapons. The extremists armed with outmoded rifles and machine guns are posing against the background of an anti-aircraft gun mounted on a civilian truck and the flag of Syria. One of the militants named Abu Anisa speaks in Kazakh about their intentions. The video is being scrutinized by Kazakhstani security officials and diplomats.

"First, I would like to point out the quality of this video as compared to the previous similar videos supposedly showing Kazakhstanis fighting, in say Afghanistan. It is of good quality and is likely to be a product of a specialised television studio. Though, when compared to the videos intended for the European audiences that are professionally-made, these production targeting Central Asia is somewhat artisanal,” Karin said.

Second, the analyst paid attention to the gear of the militants in the video. Usually, equipment and weapons are quite simple in such videos, which is the case here. It is only since the beginning of this year that radical groups have been receiving better, newer gear, he said.

"Third, and perhaps the most important, the video contains not a single word of the recent advancements made by ISIS in Iraq. As you know, in late May, after several successful military operations, ISIS units were able to capture a number of major cities in the north of Iraq and then approach the capital. Such events could not have been overlooked in the video. Given that the successful advancements of ISIS began in February and March, this video must have been made in the beginning of this year," Karin said. 

Taking all three factors together Karin made a conclusion that the video used old recordings made more than half a year ago. And the purpose of releasing the video in this particular time (in late July) was most likely to counter the campaign of the Kazakh authorities that are working to prevent more citizens from joining the combat action.

“Most probably, this is an answer of the radical groups to the efforts of our special services. It is known that several Kazakhstani citizens were arrested (in Kazakhstan) for fighting in Syria or attempting to do so. Just recently our media reported about the sentences given by our courts to some people of this sort.

"The work of our special services to prevent our youth from joining the terrorists abroad is ongoing and it faces counter attempts to ideologically fight this work. And as we see, often there is manipulation of facts and information. They [militants] are trying to create an impression that there are new, fresh recruits joining their ranks,” the analyst said.

Karin however admitted that the problem of Kazakhstani citizens joining the ranks of militants in Syria was still acute and it was unwise to underestimated it, and called to step up the work on prevention further radicalisation of the young.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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