UPDATE Al Bara Pankisi, his wife & children confirmed alive in Syria

Update as of 16 September — Al Bara has been confirmed alive, as are his wife and children.

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Another update, as of 5 p.m. BST on 2 September — it seems like Al Bara’s family in Pankisi are not 100% sure whether he is actually alive or not, since they only received one message that is definitely him but after that nothing.

They wanted to believe in the best possible outcome — some of them still believe in it. But others seem not so sure.

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I don’t like updating posts because it is confusing for readers. Usually I would  make a new post. But in this case I will update this one,  not only because I want to report correct information but because it’s a good way to illustrate how confusing information from Syria is.

I reported, based on sources (social media and sources in Georgia) that Al Bara Pankisi, a Kist (ethnic Chechen) from the Pankisi Gorge in Syria, had been reported killed in Syria along with his pregnant wife and two children.  You can read my original post below. Al Bara was reported killed alongside his wife and two children when a car they were travelling in was shot at. The reason the news got out is because someone in Syria contacted Al Bara’s friends/relatives in Georgia and reported that it was him in the car. But last night his friends reported that they managed to talk to Al Bara and he and his family are alive and well. No one knows who was in the car, or whether it was a Chechen family or not.

So yes, Syria is a war zone and details of what is happening are often hard to verify, particularly when it comes to deaths. In this case, someone’s relatives and friends were led to believe that someone had been killed. Apart from the stress  of having a relative or friend in Syria, imagine what the past few days must have felt like for the relatives and friends of Al Bara!

Continue reading UPDATE Al Bara Pankisi, his wife & children confirmed alive in Syria

Сестра Эльвиры Караевой, карачаевка которую казнили ИГ в Сирии — ищет информацию о судьбах двух детей Эльвиры

The sister of Elvira Karayeva, the Karachay woman executed by IS in Syria in 2016, desperately seeking information on the whereabouts of Elvira’s 2 children.

English follows Russian:

Сестра Эльвиры Караевой — карачаевка, которую казнили по приговору ИГ в Сирии в феврале 2016г — отчаянно ищет информацию о судьбах двух детей Эльвиры. Альбина Караева даже не знает, живы ли дети или нет.  Continue reading Сестра Эльвиры Караевой, карачаевка которую казнили ИГ в Сирии — ищет информацию о судьбах двух детей Эльвиры

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