Claimed footage has emerged of a group of Chechen fighters claiming to be from “Tarkhan’s Jamaat” — the jamaat of Chechen commander Tarkhan Ismailovich Gaziyev — taking part in the fighting in Latakia. The group has published several videos of its fighters in Kassab.
In 2006, Gaziyev was named by Doku Umarov as commander of the southwestern front of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Chechnya-Ichkeria,and in 2007 Umarov named him head of the security service. However, Gaziyev split from Umarov in 2010. There are reports that at least some of his jamaat went to Syria. [See reader comment and also below for a more detailed biography of Gaziyev.]
This video shows the group in Kassab. The man burning the flag is named Abu Abdullah. He is asked to say a few words about the operation, and replies that they did not do anything — Allah did it all:
A video shot prior to the above footage, showing the fighters battling regime forces on the road to Kassab:
An interview with one of the fighters, Muskhab, in Chechen – explaining the battle for Kassab:
Earlier videos showing the jamaat:
A “promotional” video showing members of the jamaat:
Biography of Tarkhan Gaziyev (translated from Kavkazskii Uzel):
Chechen warlord, ideologue of Wahhabism. Commanded the south-west front of the separatists. On the federal wanted list since May 14, 2004.
Born November 11, 1965 in the village of the Itum-Kale district in the Soviet Chechen-Ingush ASSR. [NB – Mairbek Vatchagaev writes that Gaziyev was born in the small village of Pozh-Poroy in the mountainous Itum-Kale district.]
During the second Chechen campaign had authority over a group of militants acting in Shatoysky and Achkhoy-Martanovsky Districts.
In October 2003, Gaziyev’s group carried out the assassination of the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the Itum-Kale district.
From May 14, 2004 Tarkhan Gaziyev has been on the Federal Wanted List.
On September 24, 2006 by Decree of the President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Dokka Umarov Gazyiev was appointed commander of the Southwestern Front of the Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
On July 22, 2007 Dokka Umarov appointed Akhmed Yevloev (Ali Taziev) as the “Military Amir of the CRI Armed Forces” and Tarkhan Gaziyev became one of his deputies.
In September 2007, Gaziyev’s group attacked the house of school’s head of administration and the school building in Gukhoy village in the Itum-Kale district; the administration head’s nephew was killed and four policemen were wounded.
When the Caucasus Emirate was proclaimed in 2007, Gaziyev was named Commander of the southwestern front of Vilayat Nokhchicho [the Province of Chechnya].
In March 2008, Gaziyev’s group carried out an armed assault on the village of Alkhazurovo in the Urus-Martan district of Chechnya. As a result, seven policemen were killed.
On the night of April 3, 2008, Tarkhan Gaziyev and around 10-15 men entered the village of Yandi-Kotar in Achkoi-Martan and actually took control of the village. The militants went round the houses, mainly thouse where colleagues of the police lived, and found out whether they were home or not. Not finding anyone, the militants quit the village.
In late April 2008, gunmen led by Tarkhan Gaziyev committed armed attacks in several villages in the Achkhoi-Martan and Urus-Martan districts of Chechnya.
In 2010, Tarkhan sided with warlords of the Vilayat Nokhchicho, which announced withdrawal from obedience to Dokku Umarov after his retraction of his already-posted announcement about his resignation.
On August 29, 2010 Tarkhan participated in organizing an attack on the village of Tsentaroy, Kurchaloyevsky District.
On September 3, 2010 the leader of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov named Tarkhan among those militant leaders who organized an attack on Kadyrov’s home village of Tsentaroy and promised a reward of 10 million rubles for information on their whereabouts.
On the night of September 14, 2010 in a wooded area near the village of Nokhchi-Keloy in the Shatoysky district of Chechnya, a militant group under the command of Tarkhan fired automatic weapons at employees of the Interior Ministry who were conducting search operations. One policeman was killed and one wounded.
On September 20, 2010 on the order of Doku Umarov, Tarkhan, who served at the time as head of the Mukhabarat (Security Service) of the Caucasus Emirate, was stripped of his rank and position and transferred to a Sharia court in connection with violation of Bayat (oath).
In September 2010 Tarkhan appeared on video with Amirs Aslanbek Vadalov and Husseon Gakayev and informed about his subjugation to Gakayev.