Ex-Russian officer jailed for fighting with Islamic State in Syria
April 02 2019 07:46 PM
Denis Khisamov
Denis Khisamov is believed to have participated in 10 operations with the Islamist group in Syria. Photo courtesy: Moscow Times

dpa/Moscow

A former Russian military captain was sentenced on Tuesday to 19 years in prison for fighting alongside the Islamic State extremist group in Syria, state media reported.
Denis Khisamov is believed to have participated in 10 operations with the Islamist group in Syria, including a deadly attack on the town of Al-Rai near the Turkish border. Khisamov, who had left the Russian military in 2009, confessed to participating in attacks that killed several people, state news agency TASS reported.
Khisamov was found guilty of providing training for terrorist activities and participating in an organization that the Russian state has outlawed as terrorist. Southern Russia has for decades struggled with an Islamist insurgency seeking to establish an independent Islamic country. 
Many of those insurgents are believed to have gone to Syria or Iraq to fight for Islamic State. As the militant group is defeated in Syria and Iraq, Russian authorities have become increasingly concerned about these fighters returning home.
 Russian President Vladimir Putin said two years ago that there were about 10,000 nationals of former Soviet countries fighting for Islamic State in Syria.



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