Moscow sending troops to Syria

By F. Michael Maloof

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

BEIRUT, Lebanon – The Moscow-controlled government in Chechnya is creating “special units” to battle Islamic fighters in Syria, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The goal is to keep Muslim fighters from Chechnya from returning, out of concern for possible terrorist attacks during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

According to the president of the province of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, and confirmed by WND sources in Lebanon, Chechnya will train the special units to go into Syria to hunt down Chechen Islamic fighters, who are there to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Chechens fighters, along with other Islamic fighters from the North Caucasus region of southern Russia, are Sunni Wahhabists, closely associated with al-Qaida.

Their leader, Dokku Umarov, self-styled leader of the Caucasus Emirates encompassing the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus regions of Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and South Ossetia, has promised to attack the Olympics, and elsewhere throughout Russia, while they are being held Feb. 7-23, 2014.

The Olympics site in Sochi is only 250 miles from the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus provinces.

For years, the Chechens and other North Caucasus fighters have been launching attacks within the southern provinces against Russian security forces.

The North Caucasus fighters also are in Syria, gaining battlefield experience which they would bring back to continue fighting Russian forces.

The Sunni North Caucasus militants are fighting in Syria because of Moscow’s backing of Assad, who is a Shiite Alawite.

A major concern in Syria now is the extent to which foreign Sunni Islamic fighters, who are financed and equipped by Saudi Arabia, are pouring into that country in an effort to topple Assad.

The Saudis have created the Islamic Front, or IF, which is comprised of some seven Islamic militant groups. While the Saudis want the United States to back the IF, some of its fighters recently raided the weapons compound of the Syrian opposition Free Syrian Army, causing its leader, Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss, to flee Syria through Turkey to Doha, Qatar.

The U.S., which supports the Free Syrian Army, suspended further supplies to the FSA as a result of the raid.

The Chechens are considered one of the fieriest fighting groups among the Islamic militants. Along with the other foreign fighters, they seek to establish caliphates subject to strict Islamic law in Syria and use it as a springboard to create other Sunni Wahhabi caliphates in the Levant, the Gulf Arab countries and Africa.

Similarly, the Chechens and other militant fighters from the North Caucasus want to establish a Caucasus Emirates, also subject to strict Shariah.

Once trained by Russian security forces, the Moscow-backed Chechen “special units” would be sent to Syria to fight alongside the Shi’ite and Alawite backers in support of the Assad government.

Fighting alongside Assad’s military forces are members of the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Sources tell WND that Moscow may already have its own mercenaries fighting in Syria and the announcement of the Chechen special units may be used as a cover for the influx of the Russian mercenaries.

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