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
A Chechen fighter from the Chechen-led militant group Ajnad al-Kavkaz (“Soldiers of the Caucasus”) has asked why the world does not condemn Russia’s bombing in Syria and why it has not done anything to stop what the fighter says are other Russian acts of aggression including in Ukraine and in Georgia.
The comment provides a fascinating insight into the opinions of this North Caucasian jamaat on current events. Here is what the fighter had to say. Continue reading Ajnad al-Kavkaz Fighter: Why Doesn’t The World Condemn Russia’s Syria Bombings?
Veteran Chechen fighter Abu Bakr Shishani is fighting alongside the Chechen-led group Ajnad al-Kavkaz in Latakia province, sources have confirmed. Continue reading Abu Bakr Shishani Now Fighting Alongside Ajnad al-Kavkaz In Latakia
Ajnad al-Kavkaz have provided a longer biography of the group’s military commander (emir), Khamza Shishani which I have translated below. I wrote a short biography of Khamza here, taken from Ajnad’s previous postings on their social media. Continue reading A More Detailed Biography Of Khamza Shishani of Ajnad al-Kavkaz
Abdul Hakim Shishani, the leader of the Latakia-based predominantly Chechen jamaat Ajnad al-Kavkaz was the Amir of the IK Nokhchiycho Wilayah Central Sector*, sources close to the group have said. Continue reading Ajnad al-Kavkaz Amir Abdul Hakim Shishani Was Amir of Central Sector In Chechnya
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