August 7th, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
– by Inessa Sinchougova –
ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Daesh) is not a novel phenomenon. It is a salafi-jihadist cult, propped up by the Saudi state and seasoned with US dollars. It achieves certain foreign policy objectives, and is largely out in the open in the modern day. Russia has previously fought off its predecessor – Al Qaeda. Both of the Chechen wars of the 1990s were funded and aided by Saudi Arabia and the US. NGOs such as Medicins Sans Frontiers were documented to have been smuggling supplies to the Chechen rebels, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides of the conflict.
On New Year’s Eve 1999, Vladimir Putin would inherit the Russian presidency. With it, he inherited a very damaged and weary country. Given that the previous President, Boris Yeltsin, was in no physical state to rule – it is evident that Putin’s work started long before his inauguration. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Russia was plagued by horrific acts of terrorism (Beslan, Nord-ost, etc), which in Western media were packaged as acts of “Chechen freedom fighters.”
Should the rebels prevail, Putin envisaged the extensive loss of Russia’s territories and the possibility of an ‘Islamic State’. Not only was the Russian government successful in their military campaign, despite a crumbling economy at the time, but they were able to mend ties with Chechen leaders, who today staunchly oppose radical Islam. With this understanding in mind, Putin’s decision to engage in the 2015 Syrian campaign was completely logical. He knows where it leads and doing nothing is not an option.
Russia has cut off the group’s revenue (illegal oil extraction, freely taking place under the ‘Western alliance’), and disrupted the partitioning of Syria. It curbed the creation of an extremist ‘Islamic State’, with the self-proclaimed ‘ISIS capital’ in Raqqa.
The ‘jihadist breeding programme’ in Syria was almost identical to the one in Chechnya. Having paid a very high price in the 1990s, Russia will never again fight jihadists on its own soil. However, will Europe?