North Caucasus Caucus About Fighters From Azerbaijan In Syria


19:31 06/03/2013 ” SOCIETY

There appears to be a great deal of interest in Caucasian fighters
in Syria. Occasionally Azerbaijani fighters are also mentioned in
random reports, the North Caucasus Caucus says. The author said that
it is a bit more difficult to follow Azeri jihadi activity since was shut down last year.

“In Mid-August 2012 the first report of an Azerbaijani fighter in
Syria I saw was from French journalist, Jean-Marc Mojon, reporting
from Aleppo. He reportedly spoke to a young Azeri fighter in a clinic
in Saif al-Dawla neighborhood. The young man said he had seen images
of the war on television and had decided to come fight in Syria,”
the article says.

The author notes that on 9 September 2012, Shabka al-Mujahideen
(Mujahideen Suppoters Network), an Arabic language jihadi forum posted
a photo of “Abu Hanifa (Warning:graphic),” an Azeri fighter allegedly
killed in Aleppo. Abu Hanifa was later identified as Zaur Islamov.

“Islamov is probably the best known Azeri fighter as his driver’s
license was photographed and spread on social media.

Islamov’s name was also included on a list of “foreign terrorists”
killed in various battles posted by pro-Assad Facebook groups.

Reportedly Islamov had told hold his family that he was going to
Turkey to work. According to his documents posted online, he was from
the northern district of Qusar, close to the border with Dagestan,”
the author writes.

According to the article on 19 October 2012 SANA, Syrian state media,
reported that a citizen of Azerbaijan by the name of “Hasin Kazli” was
killed in al-Atareb in the Aleppo province in a fighting group led by
Uybaid al-Mansi. Kazli’s name also appeared on a list of 142 foreign
fighters released by the Syrian government. The story was published
in some Azeri online media but not picked up by any of the big outlets.

On 22 October 2012, Jihadi social media posted post-mortem photos of
“Ibrahim al-Azeri,” a fighter allegedly killed in Idlib in October.

The author says that on 30 November 2012, the Azerbaijan Press Agency
(APA), one of Azerbaijan’s leading state media outlets, published
a lengthy article about Araz Kangarli. The article reported that
Kangarli had been killed some time in September 2012. In November,
Kangarli’s mother, Larisa, said she had received a phone call informing
her that her son had died.

Larisa Kangarli reported that her son had left for Syria in mid-2012
with a group of other young men. Kangarli was one of the few fighters
that had some background information available. The border guards
arrested Kangarli and several other men at the Azeri-Iranian border
in 2008. The group was allegedly returning from Afghanistan/Pakistan
where they freely admitted they had been fighting ISAF forces since
2005. After being sentenced to several years in prison for illegally
crossing the border, Kangarli was released early in 2009 after
an appeal.

“On 11 January 2013, Yara Bayoumy reported from Aleppo on foreign
fighters for Reuters. During his interviews at the Karm al-Jabal rebel
base, Bayoumy spoke to a “Abu al-Harith, a stocky, fair, 27-year-old
from Azerbaijan. He said “This is my first time to embark on a Jihad
because … there was no one worse than Bashar. Even Stalin was
merciful compared with him,” the article says.

On 12 February 2013 the website, Gunxeber, reported that a group of
Azeri fighters had travelled to Turkey on their way to Syria. The
article did not provide many details.

“And on 25 February 2013, the Turkish language fan page for
Jabhar al-Nusra, Nusrat Cephesi, posted on Facebook two photos of
“Abdurrazzak al-Azeri. He was only identified as being martyred but
no other information was given in the post. Some of the comments to
the post suggest that the young man was from Sumqayit, Azerbaijan’s
third largest city. According to a local news website, Sumqayit Xeber,
the city was home to several other Azeri jihadis who fought in the
North Caucasus and Afghanistan/Pakistan. The article even names an
Azeri citizen wanted by INTERPOL for terrorism, Cabir Mustafayev,
who was reportedly killed in Syria,” the author says.

Recall that the relationship between international terrorist groups and
Azerbaijan originated in the early 1990s. That time, the Azerbaijani
army, having failed in the aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic (NKR), retreated with losses. Trying to save the situation,
the Azerbaijani leadership, headed by Heydar Aliyev attracted to the
war against the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh international terrorists
and members of radical groups from Afghanistan (groupings of Gulbuddin
Hekmatyar), Turkey (“Grey Wolves”, etc.), Chechnya (groupings Basayev
and Raduyev etc.) and some other regions.

Despite the involvement in of thousands of foreign mercenaries and
terrorists in the Azerbaijani army during the war, the Azerbaijani
aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh Republic failed, and the Baku
authorities were forced to sign an armistice with the NKR and Armenia.

However, international terrorists found ties in Azerbaijan, and used
them in the future. Recruitment was conducted among Azerbaijanis,
who then were sent to Afghanistan and the North Caucasus, where
participated in the battles against the forces of the international
coalition and Russian organizations.

In recent years, the citizens of Azerbaijan are actively involved in
terrorist and extremist activities in Russia, Afghanistan and Syria.

In Azerbaijan the citizens are brought to criminal liability for
participating in “illegal armed groups” in Afghanistan, sentenced to
minor terms of imprisonment.


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