Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, claims that Chechen special forces loyal to the Russian Federation have gone to Syria en masse, infiltrating ISIS territory and setting up what amounts to an “extensive spy network” within the caliphate.
Kadyrov said Chechnya had sent its best fighters to ISIS territory, and that they were playing a key role in providing targeting information for Russian airstrikes against ISIS territory. He said it was time the spies got their credit for risking their lives for the air war.
The Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, refused to comment on the matter, saying it was inappropriate to discuss Chechen troops in Syria,, and said the Defense Ministry had already shared “exhaustive” data on Russian troops in the nation.
ISIS is known to have a significant Chechen contingent, and this announcement is seen by some as aimed primarily at sewing distrust among ISIS leadership that their Chechen members are actually spies, as opposed to being a realistic reflection of how many special forces are being used.