What the Russian authorities have always feared and warned against finally happened today when early this morning a group of six ISIS fighters attacked a base of the Russian National Guard (‘Rosgvardiya’) in Chechnya’s Naursky district.
A report of the clash from the official Russian news agency TASS drawing on a report from Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee reads as follows
“This night at around 02.30 a.m. a group of six unknown individuals carried out an armed attack on a facility of Rosgvardiya’s military unit in Chechnya’s Naursky district. During the armed clash, all members of the gang were neutralised,” the NAC said.
The militants carried firearms and rounds of ammunition, and two of them wore fake explosive belts. “There are deaths and injuries among the servicemen,” the NAC said.
Six servicemen of Russia’s National Guard were killed when repelling the attack, a spokesman for Russia’s National Guard told TASS:“During the armed clash six servicemen died, there are also the wounded.”
We consider that any attempts to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm them, are short-sighted and extremely dangerous. This may make the global terrorist threat much worse, spreading it to new regions around the globe, especially since there are fighters from many different countries, including European ones, gaining combat experience with Islamic State. Unfortunately, Russia is no exception.
Now that those thugs have tasted blood, we can’t allow them to return home and continue with their criminal activities.
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Though ISIS has achieved a presence in the northern Caucasus it is unlikely that its presence can significantly change the situation on the ground there.
The Jihadi insurgency that raged in the Caucasus in the 1990s and early 2000s has been largely defeated, and the Russian and Chechen security forces in the area are undoubtedly strong enough to contain any new threat ISIS might pose.
Nonetheless, given the murderous methods of the organisation, and the risk its activities may spread beyond the Caucasus and may start to target civilians, the Russian authorities will from now on be doubly on their guard.