“Turkistan Party” Threatens Russia with an “Afghan War” in Syria
The Turkistan Islamic Party threatened Russia of waging a war of an “Afghan” style in Idlib governorate, in sync with the military campaign that Assad forces started against the area, on May 7.
On Friday, May 17, the Turkistan Party posted a video on its affiliated Telegram channel, the Voice of Islam, in which it reported on the Afghanistan war that lasted for ten years and that led to the death of more than 15 thousand Soviet soldiers and the injury of more than 53 thousand others, according to official figures.
The video, titled “Means of Victory”, which Enab Baladi managed to view, features big and heavy rockets for the first time, amidst extensive preparations for the upcoming battle that the Turkistan Party hinted at.
The video has also presented other heavy arms being prepared by the Party, which the latter used in the battles that Idlib witnessed in a previous time, including a machine DShK.
The Party, in the video, stated that the top outcomes of the Russian-Afghan war was the emergence of movements and the breakout of wars, such as the Bosnian, Chechen and the Iraqi wars (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, 2004) and Taliban, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, Ansar al-Sharia and the al-Nusra Front in Syria.
The video’s posting date corresponded to the military campaign initiated by Assad forces in western rural Hama, and through which they managed to take over several areas. The most important of these are the town of Qalaat Al Madiq and al-Hwaiz village.
According to the map of territorial control, Assad forces attempt to reach the city of Jisr al-Shugur, in western rural Idlib that the Turkistan Party controls.
For conducting their military operations, Assad forces are active on tow axes: The first starts from the al-Ghab Plain, and the second is in the al-Kabaneh village, rural Latakia.
The Turkistan Party is classified as one of the jihadist formations that operate in Syria, while it is known for being close to the former al-Nusra Front and the Jund al-Aqsa in terms of dogma.
The Party played a major role in the two battles of Jisr al-Shugur and the Abu al-Duhur Airbase.
According to information obtained by Enab Baladi, about three thousand Uyghur militants are in the ranks of the Turkistan Party. Most of these fighters are accompanied by their families and are based in the western rural parts of Idlib and the northern rural parts of Latakia.
The Party’s presence in Syria is not limited to Uyghurs, for international statistics and reports show that dozens of Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkman have streamed in the areas held by the Islamic State (IS) in the eastern parts of Syria. In the past a few years, these ethnic groups became of IS forces’ basic constituents.
In September 2015, al-Tawhid wal-Jihad faction, which operates in rural Idlib and consists of Tajik and Uzbek militants, pledged loyalty to the former al-Nusra Front.