MOSCOW (Staff Report) – Russian Interior Ministry on Thursday confirmed that around 3,417 Russian nationals have so far left the country to fight for Middle East based terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh).
The statement, however, did not carry any information about the gender of those who joined Islamic State group. It also did not confirm any reports of Russians who died fight along with IS militants.
The announcement comes a day after Russian forces started withdrawal from Syria, ending a months- long military operation on the orders of President Vladimir Putin. Some sections of Russian Air Defence will, however, still stay in Syria to meet any extraordinary situation.
Earlier in September last year, Russia’s First Deputy Director of Federal Security Sergei Smirnov said that over 2,400 Russians had joined Islamic State group.
On the occasion, Smirnov also called the growing number of Syrian migrants a “great threat” to Russia.
It is also relevant to be mentioned here that Islamic State, reportedly, has a standing army of over 35,000 fighters including around 15,000 foreigners. Britain remains on the top of list when it comes to number of fighters who left their country to join Islamic State group.