Fri Mar 11th, 2022 at 09:41:08 PM EST
Underground U.S. groups funnel fighters, medics to Ukraine | Reuters |
A turning point in the Ukraine? Throws Erdogan his support behind NATO and the West?
Erdogan: Turkey rejects unlawful actions violating Ukraine's territorial integrity
- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated Ankara's rejection of aggression against Ukraine's sovereignty and the "unlawful annexation of Crimea," by Russia.
- "As Turkey, we reject the unlawful actions that violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine, first and foremost the illegal annexation of Crimea," Erdogan said Friday, addressing the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.
- "We cannot in any way tolerate acts of aggression against the sovereignty of [Ukraine]," he added.
- He also slammed the Western capitals for "remaining silent" in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, arguing that the invasion of Ukraine could have been prevented had "the West had spoken out at the time."
450 Arab and foreign extremists from Idlib arrive in Ukraine | Al Mayadeen - Beirut |
Close to 450 extremist Arab and foreign nationals have arrived in Ukraine from Idlib to fight against Russia's forces, less than only three days after they left Syria, passing through Turkey.
Senior fighters from terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (the rebranded version of Jabhat Al-Nusra, i.e Al-Qaeda) have held a number of meetings with senior leaders in the Turkistan Islamic Party group and Ansar Al-Tawhid and Hurras al-Din groups, and agreed on allowing a number of all their fighters to enter Ukraine through Turkish soil.
The sources added that most of these foreign fighters are veterans of the Syrian war, had been causing issues in Idlib, and were given this opportunity to fight against Russia as a compromise by which they would receive a new start and with an acceptable income.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham also gave these fighters assurances that their families would be allowed to join them later.
Around 300 of these fighters are Syrian nationals that are originally from the Idlib and Aleppo countrysides, while the 150 others are Belgian, French, Chinese, Moroccan, Tunisian, Chechen and British nationals.
Will Russia turn to Syrian mercenaries for its Ukraine fight?
The shadowy Russian security firm Wagner Group, which has been implicated in war crimes in Libya, is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin denies any connection. Wagner forces are allegedly present in Ukraine, and according to The Times of London staged three foiled assassination attempts on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the past week.
A local activist speaking not for attribution says the Wagner Group and the Russian-backed Fifth Corps are recruiting pro-regime fighters in eastern Syria. Some contracts have already been signed among those with heavy combat experience, the source said.
The alleged recruitment effort is in its early stages and it remains unclear whether any decision for the Syrians' deployment has been made.
Syrians and the Ukraine war -- "We share a similar suffering"
Syrian opposition activists say they know what it's like to go up against the Russian military. Some experts think things may have turned out differently in Ukraine if the West had stood up to the Kremlin over Syria.
White Helmets chief reflects on Syria's lessons for Ukraine
Is HTS reining in or expanding jihadist network in Idlib? | Al Monitor - Feb. 15, 2021 |
Similar to importing Al Qaeda and OBL into Pakistan and Afghanistan which terror groups expanded across the globe.
The Turkistan Islamic Party in Double-Exile: Geographic and Organizational Divisions in Uighur Jihadism | Jamestown - Sept 2018 |
The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) was one of the world's more obscure jihadist groups until it emerged as a key player in the Syrian civil war in 2013. When the then Afghanistan-and-Pakistan-based TIP first began releasing videos in 2008--the year the TIP and corresponding media group, Islom Awazi (Voice of Islam) was created--it appeared to be more of a propaganda group with a militant wing than a militant group with a propaganda wing (Terrorism Monitor, March 17, 2011). Its videos indicated it only had an underwhelming several dozen fighters across that border region.
Despite initial ambiguity about the TIP, its videos since 2008 have always made it clear the group has an ideological affinity for al-Qaeda and loyalty to the Taliban. The U.S. capture of Uyghurs in Afghanistan as early as 2001 and 2002 also revealed several dozen Uyghur militants were initially placed under the leadership of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in Afghanistan. The IMU was fighting under the leadership of the Taliban.