By Claude Salhani |
An Islamist group claiming it intends to fight for an Islamic state in the Caucasus has just surfaced in the Syrian port city of Latakia, according to a report from the respected and informative SyriaComent.com.
The group calling itself The Caucus Soldier’s Group, (Jamaat Jund al-Qawqaz,) confirmed their existence in an interview to Aymen Jawad Al-Tamimi, who wrote up a report for SyriaComment.com, which included an interview with the group’s media representative.
Jamaat Jund al-Qawqaz, confirmed in an interview, that it is affiliated with the Caucasus Emirate, which also counts Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar of the Jabhat Ansar al-Din coalition as among its affiliates.
The Caucasus Emirate is considered a terrorist organization and has links with al-Qaida, though reports from the North Caucasus say that the Caucasus Emirate has run out of people with a large number of its followers having migrated to Syria and Iraq to join the so-called Islamic State.
In their Facebook page Jamaat Jund al-Qawqaz claims to be a Caucasus mujahid group aiming to gather the Caucasians in the totality under the banner of jihad against the enemies of Islam in the totality.”
The group is reported to operate out of Latakia. Jamaat Jund al-Qawqaz officially claims to have no problems with other jihadi groups.
The group’s media representative speaking to the author of this report stated that the group is unaffiliated with other Islamist groups in Syria or the region.
Jamaat Jund al-Qawqaz claims to operate independently and not to be part of Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar and Jabhat Ansar al-Din.
Ahmet Yarlykapov, a senior scientist of the RAS Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology reports that Dagestani authorities, where the Caucasus Emirates is based, has sent people to persuade the jihadis who went south to Syria and Iraq to stay there.
“It is indeed a very promising method of work, because the return of these people is the biggest threat for Russia,” says Yarlykapov. “Islamic State has gained no mass support among the population in the North Caucasus, “ he ads.
The Russian expert adds: “Look at the fate of the Caucasus Emirate that has degraded to the level of a terrorist network. They have never even controlled a territory. In other words, the ideas are absolutely unpopular in the North Caucasus. But the threat of terrorist acts is the main threat we can expect from people returning from Islamic State.”
You can follow Claude on Twitter @claudesalhani