MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. More than 170 Russians were killed when fighting on the side of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, the chairperson of the scientific advisory board of the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center said on Wednesday.
"According to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, between 800 and 1,500 Russian citizens are fighting in Syria as part of the Islamic State group, and more than 170 of them have died," Marianna Kochubey said at the meeting at the Russian Civic Chamber.
The deaths statistics refers to the whole period of the IS group’s existence, she added.
The Islamic State is an Islamist terrorist organization that in 2013-2014 was known under the name "the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) mainly on the territory of Iraq and Syria.
In June 2014, it declared the establishment on seized territories of "an Islamic caliphate" (a state with a Sharia form of government) and rebranded itself to the "Islamic State". According to the CIA, the group numbers about 30,000 people; the Iraqi authorities said the figure stood at 200,000.
The Islamists include citizens of 80 states, namely France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Canada, Russia and other CIS countries. According to some data, currently militants control 40% of Iraq’s territory and some 50% of the territory of Syria.