Russia says more than 400 Chechens have left for Syria to join ISIL Takfiri militants since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country in 2011.
A spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry said Monday that more than 400 Chechens have joined the ranks of ISIL militants in Syria, adding that the fate of most of them is unknown.
“A total of 405 people, according to our data, have left Chechnya to join the fighting in Syria” on the side of ISIL since the beginning of the war there, the spokesman told RIA Novosti on Monday.
“Among those, 104 have been killed and 44 came back, while the fate of the rest is unknown,” the official said.
Syria has been hit by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The violence in the Arab country has been further fueled by Takfiri groups, including ISIL, which also have members from several Western countries.
Back in April, a report by France’s Senate revealed that nearly half of European militants known to have traveled to Iraq and Syria are French.
Over 1,430 French people have made their way to Iraq and Syria, representing 47 percent of militants from Europe that are known and accounted for, Senator Jean-Pierre Sueur said.
The report came as European countries expressed concern that foreign militants operating in Syria may carry out terrorist attacks once they return home.
In October 2014, a UN report warned about the unprecedented number of foreign militants operating in Iraq and Syria.
According to the report, around 15,000 people have traveled to fight alongside ISIL militants and other terrorist groups.