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No ‘Chechen special task force’ in Syria — Kadyrov’s spokesman

February 09, 19:20 UTC+3 GROZNY
"Some young men are staying in Syria exclusively on their own initiative," Kadyrov’s press secretary Alvi Karimov said
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

GROZNY, February 9. /TASS/. Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, a republic in Russia’s North Caucasus, has said nothing about any Chechen special task force taking part in a force operation in Syria, Kadyrov’s press secretary Alvi Karimov said on Tuesday.

"Ramzan Kadyrov has never said that Chechen servicemen are fighting in Syria," Karimov said in a statement posted on the website of the Chechen leader.

"I don’t think anyone needs any explanations about the threat posed by terrorism, the more so as we are speaking about direct threats to Russia. This threat requires all possible efforts. Ramzan Kadyrov has never spoken about any ‘Chechen special task force.’ Only Russia’s law enforcement agencies have such units. Neither has he spoken about any land operations allegedly involving the ‘Chechen special task force,’" the spokesman stressed.

"Some young men are staying in Syria exclusively on their own initiative," he said, adding he did not know the exact number.

"No one has sent them there. They are communicating certain information of operational interest. This information turns out to be useful. Thanks to these people it has become possible to spot terrorist training centers, channels of recruiting and routes used to send recruits to the conflict zone from certain countries," Karimov said. "It is quite natural that some people are fighting against terrorism exclusively on their own initiative, for ideological and religious considerations, facing a risk of being exposed any minute as they have to pass themselves off as anti-government militants Islamic State and other terrorists really are," he said.

On Sunday, the Rossiya television channel aired a video report about participation of a Chechen special task force unit in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria. Commenting on it on the following day, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists Russia’s defense ministry had provided exhausting comments concerning Russia’s military units involved in the anti-terror operation in Syria.

"The Russian defense ministry has been repeatedly telling who and for how long are deployed in Syria and what they are doing there. I suggest you listen first of all to the defense ministry which has been providing exhausting information," Peskov said.

He stressed that Russia has only federal armed forces and internal troops. "Hence, the question about deployment of these or those servicemen is to be addressed to relevant agencies. And one should speak not about the Chechen special task force but about relevant federal units," he added.

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