Exclusive – Sound and Picture

The area in between east of Syria and west of Iraq including Deir Ezzor province is the main location of about 900 Russian fighters who fight with IS calling themselves “Chechen”. They form a special group among other fighters of IS and they are known for their physical strength and their viciousness in battles.

IS gave special attention to them because they got previous combat experiences with the Soviet Union and they carry a similar ideology as IS, as well as their knowledge of military plans that were applied in their country which they are relaying on now in Syrian which had a major role in the progress that IS achieved on several fronts.

Chechen fighters; Once they saw pictures posted on social media of the Russian army on the Syrian land they were rejoiced for that their first enemy came to their battle field, only this time Chechen have bigger potentials and more arms that may change the equation which was imposed in the mountains of Chechnya.

The Russian army have taken from the Syrian coast springboard for their operations and this faraway location upset Chechen fighters, so they decided to go to them considering the fact that the coast environment is similar to that in Chechnya. However, IS prevented them from doing so.

“Sound and Picture” reporter in Deir Ezzor province was able to get access, in a secret way that can not be disclosed for security reasons, to Chechen fighters speak some Arabic.

One of them said: “At first we formed a delegation and went to Iraq to get approval that allows us to move to the Russian army location and to ceasefire with FSA, but our request was refused under the pretext of the difficulty of engaging in a war against the Russian army and that IS rejects the truce with FSA. As we return to Syria we decided (a group of 65 fighters) to splinter and leave the territory of IS with our arms and vehicles. We left with the guidance of a Syrian guy to the nearest point of the Russian army position, out of IS sight. We sent two cars carrying seven fighters to explore the road but one of IS checkpoint members near Palmyra saw them and immediately opened fire causing the death of five Chechen fighters. The two other fighters escaped accompanied by the Syrian guide”.

The same source also said: “IS began a new strategy toward Chechen fighters, it goes to disperse them by preventing them from gathering or form any group. Moreover, IS sent a group of Chechen fighters to Iraq and North of Syria fearful of an internal coup among Chechen fighters. However, I confirm the Chechen fighters’ loyalty to IS no matter what happens and I trust IS decisions. What is happening now is an “exceptional situation” for that Chechen have a vendetta with the Russian army and they wish to take vengeance”.

“Sound and Picture” reporters in Deir Ezzor confirmed that Chechen groups are no longer existed as it did in the past, as now you can hardy three of them together in best cases and always accompanied by Iraqi members. IS, However, deprived its Chechen fighters the advantages that were given to them in the past such as luxury cars and headquarters dedicated to them and moved them to other headquarters.

About The Author


Sound and Picture organization: We are a group of Syrian human rights activists. We noticed the lack of bodies which document abuses against civilians inside Syria, therefore we decided to establish this project, it is specialized to document the violations which have committed by all sides in the ongoing conflict in Syria against civilians in a professional way. The organization is documenting all kinds of violations, and working on the accounting for the groups which committed these violations by the international community. The organization is completely independent, and does not follow any political or military bodies, whether inside or outside Syria.

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