Tajik, Kazakh, and Russian fighters killed in Syria


Abu Khurayra al Kazakh, Abu Ahmad al Tajik, and Ismail al Dagestani.

Jihadists from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia have recently been killed while waging jihad in Syria, according to Akhbar Sham, a Russian-language website that supports the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar (Army of Emigrants and Supporters, or Muhajireen Army), a group of foreign fighters led by commanders from the Caucasus. The deaths of the three fighters were promoted by Kavkaz Center, a propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, or Imarat Kavkaz.

Akhbar Sham reported that Abu Khurayra al Kazakh, Abu Ahmad al Tajik, and Ismail al Dagestani (from the Russian Republic of Dagestan) have been killed in Syria, but the exact dates of their deaths were not disclosed. The three presumably fought alongside the Muhajireen Army; Al Tajik fought in the “Brigade ‘Caucasus Emirate.'”

Fighters from across the globe, including from Europe and the US, are pouring into Syria to wage jihad against the regime of President Bashar al Assad. In the past week, 12 fighters from Azerbaijan were reported to have been killed in Syria. And a Moroccan who previously was detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay and who led Sham al Islam is also reported to have been killed this week.

For every foreign jihadist killed, it can be assumed that several survive and return to their home countries to further radicalize Muslims. Additionally, many of these fighters are being funneled through camps, such as those run by the Muhajireen Army and the Al Nusrah Front. Al Qaeda has historically selected a small number of individuals trained at such camps to conduct attacks in the West.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Anthony Celso says:

    Syria is rapidly becoming an Al Qaeda graveyard and a source of internal dissension within the AQ organization. They are headed toward a great defeat. At best they can precariously hold on to some territory in which their rule will encounter increasing resistance The number of enemies they have created (Kurds, Allawites, Christians, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shi’ite militias) and the fierce determination of the regime backed by Iran and Russia is simply unsurmountable.

  • Abu Jihad says:

    Hey Tony,
    If I had once cent for every time I heard people say that the jihadis are defeated or will be defeated over the last 20 years, I would be a multi-millionaire. The US, with all its military might and advanced technology was entirely unable to defeat a militarily inferior Taliban. The Taliban have steadily grown stronger in terms of numbers and control of territory in Afghanistan since the US invasion.
    The Russian have not been able to defeat the Chechen Jihadi movement. In fact, the jihad has expanded to include Dagestan, Ingushetia, Tataristan, and other Russian provinces.
    The jihadis now control more territory in Iraq than they ever did before. The same goes for the jihadis in Yemen.
    All I see is the US and its allies withdrawing and/staying away from these places where jihadis are present and gaining territory.
    If the US with its military might, sophistication, and advanced technology could not defeat them, do you really expect the Kurds, Allawites, Christians, Hezbollah, and the Iraqi Shi’ite militias to do so?
    Tony, your conclusions do not reflect the reality on the ground. It is all wishful thinking.

  • blert says:

    Actually AQ and the fanatics are being defeated — retail — all of the time. The battle statistics are among the worst known in military history.
    The key to this campaign is not defeat or victory — it’s REGENERATION.
    Pakistan is r e g e n e r a t i n g jihadis as fast as they can be mowed down in Afghanistan.
    This has reached such a chronic trend that ISAF officers refer to “mowing the grass.”
    The combat effectiveness of such ‘formations’ is stunningly low by all standards of military history. Not only are they green as grass, they’re typically seriously under age. One would have to revisit the Nazi boy soldiers of 1945 — or go off to the Congo — 2014, to find troopers any younger.
    One should never conflate regenerated ‘armies’ built out of cannon fodder with victory.
    The larger issue remains: who is going to finance these proles?
    Now that the ISAF is leaving the ‘protection-racket’ zone who is left?
    Pakistan is broke. Islamabad is so concerned that it refuses to sell its gold bullion. The generals that run the show must be concerned with get-away money.
    KSA would have to really spend large to carry both Pakistan and Egypt. They’ve got the money. Does Riyadh have the political resolve?
    Can a Riyahd-Islamabad axis stand up to a Washington-Moscow axis?
    I’d say that everything is still entirely up in the air.
    The Long War figures to have more plot twists than the Maltese Falcon.

  • Doug says:

    My only disagreement with you is that unlike the other counties you mentioned, largely the jihadis and AQ in Syria are not indigenous combatants. They are the outsider. And ideologically their salifism is way outside the normative values of the majority of Syrians, irrespective of sect.
    As we all know, this has been a proxy war from the start, the Gulf States, Iran with Lebanese Hezbollah, Turkey, and the Kurds of Northern Iraq, and to the lesser extent US, the Russians and Israeli.
    AQ is playing a strategy of last man standing, we need to insure they are instead the first to be wiped of the battle space.


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