in ,

ISIS comes to Russia: battle between ISIS fighters and Russian National Guard in Chechnya

Special forces officers guard the site of two blasts in the Dagestan's capital Makhachkala, early on May 4, 2012. Two blasts near a police post late on May 3 killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 20 in Dagestan, part of Russia's restive Caucasus region, the interior ministry said. AFP PHOTO / NEWS TEAM / ABDULA MAGOMEDOV (Photo credit should read ABDULA MAGOMEDOV/AFP/GettyImages)

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.”
Russian President Putin immediately convened an emergency meeting of Russia’s Security Council to discuss this development.
That ISIS has established a presence in the northern Caucasus is completely unsurprising.  Just two days ago Valery Semerikov, the acting Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) – a military alliance which brings together Russia with several other ex Soviet states – reported that there were 2,500 Russian citizens fighting with Jihadi groups in Syria.  Most of these people probably come from the Caucasus, and with the tide of war in Syria turning against the Jihadis groups and ISIS it was only a question of time before some of them returned home to continue the fight against Russia there.
Indeed concern about the presence of Russian citizens amongst the Jihadi fighters in Syria was a key reason why Russia decided to intervene in Syria in the first place, as President Putin made clear in his speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2015

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.

(bold italics added)

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.

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply

Loading…

Merkel turning toward Moscow? Bavaria’s governor leads huge German delegation to Russia

Russian Central Bank cuts key rate to 9.75%, optimistic about Russian economy