A fighter from the Caucaus Emirate in Syria, an al Qaeda-affiliated group, released a photo showing ownership of a US-made BGM-71 anti-tank missile. It is unclear when or where the photograph was taken, but it is likely recent and taken in northern Syria. A note card reading “Imarat Kavkaz” or “Caucasus Emirate” in Chechen can be seen in the foreground.
The Caucasus Emirate in Syria was formed when the former emir of Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar (Army of Emigrants and Helpers), Salahuddin Shishani, was removed from his post along with his deputy, Abdul Karim Krymsky, last month. Shishani announced his pledge to Muhammad Abu Usman, the new leader of the Caucasus Emirate, in a short video that was released by Akhbar Sham, a Russian-language website that previously promoted Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar’s activities and leaders in Syria. However, according to From Chechnya to Syria, a website that tracks Russian-speaking jihadists in Syria, it is not a new organization; rather, it is the same group in Syria that had sworn allegiance to the Caucasus Emirate, only now independent from Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar.