Over the past weeks, as fighting raged in Manbij in Syria between IS and U.S.-backed fighters, a number of missives have emerged from the town and have been shared on Russian-speaking IS channels. A number of Russian-speaking fighters from a Russian-speaking battalion has been trapped in Manbij. Continue reading “ЗАПИСКИ ИЗ МИНБИДЖА” (Notes from Manbij) — A Poem
FiSyria, the Russian-language website produced by North Caucasian and Russian-speaking members of the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham, has produced a seven-minute video of footage inside the town of Manbij in Aleppo province. Continue reading Syria: Russian-Speaking ISIS Fighters Film Inside Manbij
Following our post this morning regarding attacks by an Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham Chechen faction, more details have emerged of the ongoing offensives against Kurdish forces near the Turkish border.
FiSyria, the site close to Chechen leader and Islamic State of Iraq Amir Umar al-Shishani, has published fresh details of ISIS’s attack on the town of Manbij in Aleppo Province.
(Updated 1/25/2014 — the video from FiSyria has now been uploaded onto YouTube and we have embedded it below.)
(Updated: FiSyria have clarified that the “Salahuddin” mentioned in their original post is Salahuddin al-Turki, ISIS’s military Amir of Raqqa.)
According to FiSyria, ISIS are now in control of the town. A video published by FiSyria includes footage taken on January 23 of a drive through the town by Umar’s men, intended to that the ISIS faction has captured it. The footage shows what appear to be relatively normal scenes in the town. We see one “checkpoint”, where an armed man has stopped a car in the town and appears to be asking the driver for identification. There is a gathering in an open space in the town, outside a mosque, where we can see an ISIS banner propped up on the ground. The cameraman shows us shots of a man working on an electricity pole in the town, the (barely audible) commentary in Russian says, “that’s one of us”.
The video says that within a day, ISIS had reconnected water and electricity supplies to the town.
FiSyria provide some interesting new details, including that ISIS’s military Amir of Raqqa, Salahuddin al-Turki (“Salahuddin the Turk”), was also involved in the fight.
On the morning of January 22, Umar al-Shishani’s column attacked a checkpoint from the southern part of the entrance to the town. Around 15 people were killed. The cowards fled, and left at least five of their bases, with all their belongings: ammunition, cars, equipment, offices etc. The group led by Salahuddin al-Turki (the military Amir of the town of Raqqa) came from the northwestern side. As we were told by local residents, they left by car in the direction of the Turkish border.(It seems “they” refers to the insurgents whom ISIS was fighting and not to al-Turki.)
Checkpoints were placed in the town, complete checks are being carried out on membership in the group of bandits, water and electricity has been restored.
We met with one Russian-speaking Syrian who told us that “until the fall of their bases the local Imams in the mosques say that ISIS are murderers, they would rape our women and steal our property. On that pretext they took money from simple folk for the battle against you”.
For the two days until the capture of Manbij all these puppets left Syria and went to Istanbul.
(Featured Image: Claimed image of Manbij after its capture by ISIS)
FiSyria, the website close to ISIS’s Chechen Emir Umar al-Shishani, has published new claims regarding ISIS’s movements in and around al-Bab in Aleppo, together with a claimed footage of a weapons cache captured from the Free Syrian Army.
The weapons captured include anti-tank rockets, according to the video.
The new details also indicate that Umar and ISIS had previously tried to purchase rockets and other weapons from the Islamic Front, but were refused.
We now also know that Umar and his men are in the vicinity of Manbij.
Text accompanying the video says it was shot on January 16. The man speaking in the video, who describes the various rockets captured in the base, is not Umar. It is possible that the speaker is Umar’s right-hand-man, Abu Jihad.
The speaker in the video emphasizes that the rockets were given to Umar and his men by Allah. One of the rockets is described as a “cannon”. There seems to be two Russian speakers, but at one point, the Arabic word for “rocket” is heard.
The post says that after capturing the al-Bab, Umar and his faction set out on the road to Manbij:
The town was completely cleansed.
Two days later, we received information that former Free Syrian Army insurgents were holding ISIS prisoners in one of the bases near the city.
Intelligence reported that this was a former missile base, which previously belonged to Assad’s forces.
Umar and his men decided to attack the base, FiSyria writes:
The attack was carried out at night. The apostates (a term used to refer to non-ISIS fighters) were fortified in two buildings, from where there was gunfire before dawn.
By morning, there was heavy weaponry reinforcements. After several hours of fighting, they left the territory.
Five infidels were killed (the rest managed to escape), there was one martyr among the mujahideen).
FiSyria explains that, after all, the ISIS prisoners were not in the base.
As it turned out later, there were no prisoners here, but by the grace of Allah, we managed to take a large amount of ammunition and rockets.
Umar and his ISIS fighters took the ammunition from the base:
From morning till evening, we took out the trophies. There were so many that we did not have enough cars.
FiSyria offers a quote from Umar, which offers some insight into the previous relationship between ISIS and the Islamic Front:
Umar al-Shishani said: “When we wanted to buy their shells to fight the Assadis, they told us that they did not have any. But Allah Almighty gave them to us. Praise Him alone!”
This ISIS propaganda video from Sunday claims to show an ISIS convoy heading out to Manbij:
The video was uploaded by Abu Yazn al-Halabi, an ISIS-affiliated activist.
Syria Direct report that the fighter sitting in the pickup truck says, “You cannot stand as long as ISIS stands.” “We will set fire to you,” says another.
It is notable that the fighters shown in this video are Arabic-speakers, and are not North Caucasians.