caucasus

caucasus

Russia: Mercenaries from Caucasus may be aiding Syrian militants

13h ago
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1. C/U Head of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov 2. SOT: Yunus-bek Yevkurov "We have no precise information on the natives of Ingushetia who left the region quite a while ago. These people might have been recruited by radical Islamist groups in Syria and joined the ranks of the opposition fighters. Russian security agencies do keep an eye on the situation. And if we identify any mercenaries from Ingushetia who went to fight in Syria, we will do our best and obtain all the information available from their families in order to try and influence these fighters in Syria and some other Arab countries. The Federal Security Service Directorate and National Anti-Terrorist Committee are already mapping out strategies to follow in case these militants, who already have fighting experience, come back to Russia. We are going to assist these services in every possible way." 3. C/U Hands of Yevkurov SCRIPT: Russia: Mercenaries from Caucasus may be aiding Syrian militants During an interview as part of a working visit to Moscow on Saturday, the head of the southern Russian state of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov, has suggested that Syrian rebel forces may be receiving military support from Russian citizens originating from the Northern Causcasus. Yevkurov suggested that these mercenaries may have come into contact with Radical Islam which then led them to fight in Syria, "We have no precise information on the natives of Ingushetia who left the region quite a while ago. These people might have been recruited by radical Islamist groups in Syria and joined the ranks of the opposition fighters. Russian security agencies do keep an eye on the situation. And if we identify any mercenaries from Ingushetia who went to fight in Syria, we will do our best and obtain all the information available from their families in order to try and influence these fighters in Syria and some other Arab countries." He stated that the Russian security services are tracking these people and that the Russian government will do everything it can to assist the security services in case they return to the Russian Federation, "The Federal Security Service Directorate and National Anti-Terrorist Committee are already mapping out strategies to follow in case these militants, who already have fighting experience, come back to Russia. We are going to assist these services in every possible way." Yunus-bek Yevkurov was appointed as head of the republic of Ingushetia in 2008. Before his appointment Yevkurov was a career soldier and paratrooper and served in numerous Russian conflicts including in Kosovo and Chechnya. An unsuccessful attempt was made on his life, ending in serious injury in 2009.