ISIS claims to behead Russian colonel in Syria – Photo

Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists in Syria, where the Russian military is fighting on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, have published a video purporting to show the decapitation of an alleged Russian colonel, reports the SITE intelligence group that monitors jihadi activity online.

SITE notes, “The Islamic State (IS) released a Russian-language video from Furat Media declaring the group’s successes against Russian forces and showing the beheading of a Russian colonel identified as Evgeny Petrenko.”

The Islamic State “details the group’s successes against #Russia” in Syria where the Kremlin has been supported the Assad regime since September 2015, writes Rita Katz, director of SITE, on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Russian defense ministry has dismissed as false the allegations that a Russian service member has been captured and beheaded by ISIS in Syria.

“The 12-minute Russian-language video, released on the day Russia celebrated the anniversary of the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany with military parades, showed the man dressed in a black jump suit kneeling in a desert scene and urging other Russian agents to surrender,” reports the Foreign Desk (FD).

“This idiot believed the promises of his state not to abandon him if he was captured,” a narrator in the gruesome video reportedly says before a bearded soldier beheaded the prisoner.

The Foreign Desk acknowledges that authorities cannot verify the date of the incident and the identity of the victim.

ISIS has threatened to attack Russia before, claiming to have carried out some attacks within the nation’s borders already. Many jihadists from the Muslim-majority of the Republic of Chechnya, an autonomous province in Russia, have traveled to join ISIS and other jihadists in the Middle East.

The Kremlin has expressed concern about the return of battled-hardened Russian jihadists as ISIS is increasingly pushed out of its ever-shrinking caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Russia is the top non-predominantly Muslim country whose citizens have become jihadists fighting for ISIS and other terrorist groups. It is the only non-predominantly Muslim country on the list.

The Kremlin often downplays the Islamic terror threat facing its country.

“In comments cited by Russian news agencies, the defense ministry said all Russian forces in Syria were accounted for and continuing the ‘struggle against international terrorism,’” reports FD. “There was no immediate response from the FSB security service.”

The Russian military has conceded that it has lost an estimated 30 of its troops to its enemy since the start of the Kremlin’s operation there in September 2015.


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