Public Service Announcement: This Is An Academic Blog NOT A PRO-JIHAD SITE

It has been brought to my attention that some individuals are apparently incapable of reading the About page or any of my posts, and based on the title of this blog are laboring under the delusion that it a pro-jihad site run by Chechens.

I had thought this was patently obvious…

This blog tracks North Caucasian militants in Syria and Iraq and the impact of their participation in the Syrian battlefield on the insurgency in the North Caucasus.

Translation: Abdulhakim, Salakhuddin & Muslim Shishani Address the Syrian People

On 4 August, Ajnad al-Kavkaz released* a video in Chechen with Russian subtitles featuring the jamaat’s amir Abdulhakim Shishani (read my recent interview with him here), Muslim Shishani (Amir of Junud al-Sham) and Salakhuddin Shishani** (Amir of Jaish Usro). The video is an address to the Syrian people and is a response to the recent and ongoing clashes between HTS and Ahrar al-Sham. I am writing a detailed analysis of the video for Jane’s looking at its significance and responses from various groups, so I will not give any analysis here,  but for fun I just did an on the fly translation of the Russian subtitles (I would have preferred to translate the Chechen but I can still only pick out a few words…).

Continue reading Translation: Abdulhakim, Salakhuddin & Muslim Shishani Address the Syrian People

A Russian-Speaking Mom Writes About Educating Her Kids in Idlib:

There was a lot of interest in the piece I translated here, about a North Caucasian woman’s view of making hijra to Syria along with her husband and others. So I thought I would also do a quick translation of the below piece, which was also written by a Russian-speaking woman in Syria, in which she talks about the issue of educating her children. A few points: Continue reading A Russian-Speaking Mom Writes About Educating Her Kids in Idlib:

“A Woman’s View” – essay by a Russian-speaking wife of a jihadi in Latakia

An essay written by a North Caucasian Russian-speaking woman and wife of a Russian-speaking jihadi formerly based in Latakia province in Syria (and not connected in any way with The Islamic State group) was posted on 8 July on the telegra.ph site. As part of my work I collect posts/essays/poems etc by Russian-speaking fighters — almost all of which are written by men. Because this is comparatively unusual I thought I’d quickly translate and share it. We don’t often get a glimpse of the lives of the Russian-speaking women who have accompanied their husbands to Syria — and the overwhelming majority of what has been written is about IS “jihadi brides” or women connected with IS in other ways.  Anyway the original piece has some rather fascinating  photos of the interior of the house that the woman describes, which I have also posted here.

Continue reading “A Woman’s View” – essay by a Russian-speaking wife of a jihadi in Latakia

Imarat Kavkaz Vilayat Nohchicho Abroad Weighs In On Abdul Aziz Row

Since the (long-awaited) announcement on 23 June from IK’s Shura Overseas and the KBK Shura Overseas regarding the ouster of Abdulaziz KBK, a furious row has been raging between the supporters of the new IK regime as led by Saad ad-Dagestani, and those who either support Abdulaziz (not many, admittedly), or (mainly) those who don’t support him but who are unhappy at how Saad ad Dagestani and his supporters have handled things, including the treatment of IK in Syria. Continue reading Imarat Kavkaz Vilayat Nohchicho Abroad Weighs In On Abdul Aziz Row

Imarat Kavkaz in Turkey Finally Announce Abdulaziz’s Removal – But Why?

The Shura of Imarat Kavkaz Za Rubezhom (IK Overseas) and of IK KBK Overseas has made an official announcement — finally — about the situation surrounding Abdul Aziz KBK. Continue reading Imarat Kavkaz in Turkey Finally Announce Abdulaziz’s Removal – But Why?

12-year-old son of Chechen Imarat Kavkaz recon group amir killed in Raqqa air strike

The 12-year-old son of a of a Chechen Imarat Kavkaz v  Shame recon and assault group amir has been killed in an air strike near Raqqa, sources say.  Continue reading 12-year-old son of Chechen Imarat Kavkaz recon group amir killed in Raqqa air strike

‘Only the T-shirts are left’ – the Archaeology of Imarat Kavkaz in Syria

Even if I’m not posting publicly, apart from this brief post, I’ve been doing research on IK v Shame & the current situation. But I wanted to share this fantastic photo, which was taken very recently* and is of Imarat Kavkaz’s very first base in Haritan, Aleppo province. Continue reading ‘Only the T-shirts are left’ – the Archaeology of Imarat Kavkaz in Syria

Imarat Kavkaz in Syria splits more after Abdul Aziz KBK ouster

So this isn’t new news & I’ve been sitting on it for a few months for various reasons but it seems that I might as well post it now. Various sources report that Imarat Kavkaz v Shame (IKvS) has basically split into small factions/groups following the ouster of the group’s главный амир (main amir is the best way I can translate it) in Turkey, Abdul Aziz Kabardinets/ KBK. Continue reading Imarat Kavkaz in Syria splits more after Abdul Aziz KBK ouster

Some comments from Russian-speaking fighters/media mujahideen on Astana talks

Out of interest, I have translated a few personal reactions of Russian-speaking mujahideen (which includes both those who are fighting in jamaats and those who are media activists* in Syria, these do not include any individual in IS nor connected to or supportive of IS) to the talks in Astana. The individuals were not expressing the views of any jamaat or group. Continue reading Some comments from Russian-speaking fighters/media mujahideen on Astana talks

Tracking Russian-speaking Foreign Fighters In Syria