After the information about the withdrawal of the Wagner Group private military company from eastern Syria appeared on the Arabic media scene, the activity of the Islamic State (also ISIS, banned in Russia) has grown significantly in the region. According to the European media, these two facts are interrelated.
ISIS is strengthening its positions in eastern Syria. Since late December, there have been alarming reports indicating an increase in terrorist activity. On December 25, a bus carrying Syrian Arab Army personnel was blown up on the Palmyra-Deir ez-Zor highway. As a result, several dozen soldiers were killed. Shortly afterwards, Brigadier General Mazen Ali Hassoun was also killed in a terrorist attack in the city of Abu Kamal, Deir ez-Zor Governorate.
People in the east of the country are afraid of that IS fighters might reoccupy Deir ez-Zor, says the Italian media outlet Loccidentale citing sources in Syria. In addition to ISIS, say the Italian reports, Kurdish militant groups have increased their activity, too.
Information about the likely withdrawal of Wagner Group from the territory appeared on December 23. These data were spread by Syrian political analyst Hadi Abdullah. According to him, the fighters had allegedly moved to Latakia.
Italian reporters believe that the withdrawal of Wagner Group from this part of Syria poses a problem because the terrorists are likely to occupy the abandoned positions. According to the authors of the article, as the Syrian troops are unable to ensure control over the territory by its own forces, this might “inevitably affect the security of not only Syria but the Middle East as well.”
- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) officially known as the Islamic State (IS)] is recognized as a terrorist organization. Its activities are officially banned in Russia by the ruling of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on December 29, 2014.
- Caucasus Emirate is an international organization officially banned in Russia.
- The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) or Turkestan Islamic Movement (TIM), formerly known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)) is an international network officially banned in Russia.