Middle EastWar

Almost 400 Chechens return to Russia from deployment to Syria’s Aleppo

A Chechen military police battalion has returned to the Russian North Caucasus region after a 1.5-year deployment to the Syrian city of Aleppo, Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced on his page on Russian social networking service VKontakte.

“Three hundred and ninety-three soldiers under the command of Major Ruslan Numukhajiev have safely returned home,” Kadyrov wrote on Saturday night.

“Our servicemen were tasked with exceptionally important missions related to protection of critical facilities of the Russian Defense Ministry, supporting public order, ensuring the safety of civilians, achieving a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic,” he said.

Kadyrov also shared a video of an award ceremony held upon the soldiers’ return.

In December 2016, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said Moscow sent a battalion of military police to keep order in Aleppo.

“We sent in a battalion of military police yesterday evening to maintain order in the liberated territories,” he told President Vladimir Putin.

According to Kadyrov, the battalion also ensured the safety of Russia’s Hmeimim air base in Syria. Putin visited the base in December 2017 and ordered to begin the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country.

Russia was among top five countries from which Islamic State received its recruits. Chechen warlord Omar al-Shishani was killed in Iraq in 2016.

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