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…).
Below is my interview with AbdulHakim Shishani, the Amir of Ajnad al-Kavkaz. English follows Russian.
As I have written before here and elsewhere, it is my belief that understanding the various foreign fighter groups in Syria is key to a deeper understanding not only of the conflict in that country, but also of other conflicts around the globe, including those in these fighters’ countries of origin. By gathering information over time, we can see how these conflicts are interconnected, and how one affects the other.
By avoiding discussing these questions, refusing to examine these groups or understand them, or indeed by oversimplifying them including by making assumptions based on what we would like to be true, or by avoiding knowledge about these groups’ motivations and beliefs, we are harming our ability to make sense of and address important issues that lead to war, conflict and displacement of peoples. Here is the interview:
JP: Как Вы бы прокомментировали ситуации на Кавказе? Кажется, что ситуация там сильно изменилась с тех пор как Вы там воевали — ИК уж практически нету, амиры джамаатов присягнули ИГИШ итд… Continue reading Эксклюзив: интервью с АбдулХакимом Шишани, Амир Аджнада/ Exclusive: Interview With AbdulHakim Shishani, Amir of Ajnad al-Kavkaz
Two sources say that Abu Bakr Shishani, Muslim Shishani’s former military amir, has his own jamaat in Latakia. Continue reading Abu Bakr Shishani (Muslim’s Former Military Amir) Has His Own Jamaat
The Nohchicho website has undertaken and published an interview with Ajnad al-Kavkaz Amir Abdul Hakim Shishani; Abdul Hakim also wrote a letter published on the same website in support of a rally in Strasbourg by Chechens on the anniversary of the 23 February 1944 mass deportations by Stalin.
I’m writing an analysis of these and as I was reading them and thinking about them I just typed them out in translation on the fly as I find that’s a good way to get space to think. Continue reading Interview & Letter from Ajnad al-Kavkaz Amir Abdul Hakim Shishani
The Chechen-led group Ajnad al-Kavkaz have issued a statement in Turkish on their website that condemns the 28 June 2016 terrorist bombing at Ataturk Airport. (Updated 9 July: the group has issued a longer statement in Russian setting out their position on the attack in Istanbul and on the 5 July bombing in Medina).
Continue reading UPDATED: Ajnad al-Kavkaz Issue Statement Condemning Istanbul Terror Attacks
Ajnad al-Kavkaz, the Chechen-led militant group based in Latakia province, has posted some images and details about its military amir, Khamza Shishani, who like the group’s amir Abdul Hakim Shishani is a Chechen who fought in Chechnya before he came to Syria. Continue reading A (Very) Short Bio of Khamza Shishani, Military Amir of Ajnad al-Kavkaz
Amid all the reports of the Russian military build up in Latakia, there have been rumors and reports in the Russian media relating to Chechen militants in Assad’s coastal stronghold province.
Chechen-led faction Ajnad al-Kavkaz have denied a report in Russia’s pro-Kremlin RIA Novosti that the Syrian Army has killed 19 of its militants. Continue reading Ajnad Al-Kavkaz Deny Reports Syrian Army Killed Its Militants
The Emir of the Chechen-led faction Ajnad al-Kavkaz, Abdul-Hakim Shishani has made a video address calling on North Caucasians to unite. Continue reading Abdul-Hakim Shishani Calls On North Caucasians To Unite
Chechen Islamist battalion Ajnad al-Kavkaz have said they don’t have a bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to the Caucasus Emirate, or to anyone. Continue reading Ajnad Al-Kavkaz Don’t Have Bay’ah To Caucasus Emirate
The Chechen faction Ajnad al-Kavkaz (AAK) published a new video on May 10 showing footage of them fighting alongside two other Jaish al-Fateh groups in the village of Muqabala in Idlib province. Continue reading Ajnad al-Kavkaz Fighting In Joint Ops In Muqabala, Idlib Province