1,700 Russian nationals fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq

“At the moment, some 100 countries are involved in the Iraqi conflict. The number of [foreign] participants that are fighting alongside Islamic State has grown from 13,000 to 20,000 -- that is our es

February 21, 2015 01:43
1 minute read.
Islamic State fighters

Islamic State fighters gesture as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

About 1,700 Russian nationals are fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State group in Iraq, according to the director of Russia's Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, International Business Times reported Friday.

Bortnikov couched this figure, which was half the current estimate just a year ago, in the context of the wider issue of foreign combatants fighting in the notorious jihadist group.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“At the moment, some 100 countries are involved in the Iraqi conflict. The number of [foreign] participants that are fighting alongside Islamic State has grown from 13,000 to 20,000 -- that is our estimate."

Moscow has been involved in numerous confrontations with its Muslim Chechen minority, finishing an almost decade long war against separatist elements in 2009. A combined total of approximately 16,000 Chechen militants and civilians were killed in that conflict.

Chechen Muslims have taken a prominent fighting role in some of the Islamic State's key operations due to their experience fighting the Russian military.

One example of the rising profile of Chechen fighters is the case of Omar al-Shishan. An ethnic Chechen who fought the Russians in 2008, Shishani became a important figure after leading some of the Islamic State's most daring and decisive missions in Syria, including the capture of the Syrian army's Minigh air-force base near Aleppo.

Russia's primary concern regarding foreign fighters primarily stems from the threat of Chechen Muslims returning with the training and resources to carry out terrorist attacks against the state, a scenario that has repeated itself many times in the past.

Russian state media also reported that Bortnikov, who was attending a counter-terrorism summit in Washington,as saying that Moscow and the White House may share intelligence to fight and defeat ISIS and that the general attitude at the conference aimed at not politicizing the issue of cooperation against terrorism.

Related Content

July 16, 2018
Mass protests sweep Iraq, target pro-Iran militias and parties