03 октября 2015 10:06

Chechen strongman calls on Kremlin to send local troops to Syria

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Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. ©RIA Novosti Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. ©RIA Novosti

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov on Friday called on the Kremlin to let a contingent from his region fight the Islamic State in Syria, where Russia launched air strikes earlier this week, AFP reports.


Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov on Friday called on the Kremlin to let a contingent from his region fight the Islamic State in Syria, where Russia launched air strikes earlier this week, AFP reports.

"I demand that we be authorised to come (to Syria) and take part in special operations. This is not idle talk," Kadyrov told Russian radio.

"In 1999, when Chechnya was occupied by these devils (jihadists), we swore on the Koran that we would fight them our whole lives, wherever they may be," he added, referring to the Islamic insurgency that fought Russian troops during the Second Chechen War. 

Kadyrov said IS jihadists would be no match for Chechen soldiers.

"We know them, we have destroyed them here (in Chechnya), we fought against them. And they know us," he said.

Russian authorities have said that operations in Syria would be limited to precision air strikes against IS targets and not involve the deployment of ground troops. 

Kadyrov -- who announced Friday that three individuals suspected of entertaining ties with IS had been arrested in Chechnya -- said that an order from President Vladimir Putin to send Chechen soldiers to the war-torn country would be a "celebration" for his men.

Some 2,000 Russian nationals are thought to have joined the ranks of the Islamic State, many of whom hail from volatile regions in the North Caucasus.

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