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ISIS has been raising presence in the Caucasus. On June 23, 2015 ISIS announced the creation of a new governorate, called Wilayat Qawqaz in the Russias North Caucasus, after several senior militants in the area pledged allegiance to ISIS. ISIS has been setting conditions to establish this governorate in support of its regional expansion campaign since at least January 2015.
Declaration of Wilayat Qawqaz followed the circulation of a Russian-language audio statement on Twitter on June 21, in which supporters of ISIS in the regions of Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay pledged allegiance to ISISs leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These areas represent four of the six subdivisions that constitute the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus terrorist network.
The organization maintains a large base of Chechen fighters within Iraq and Syria, and frequently releases Russian-language propaganda encouraging individuals to pledge allegiance to ISIS. At all counts, both the pledge of allegiance and the declaration of Wilayat Qawqaz will enable IS to assert its continued expansion and vitality at the expense of al-Qaeda, the Russian state, and the international anti-ISIS coalition.
The purposes of Islamic State and its sponsors are to establish instability zone in Eurasia and involve Russia into the growing conflict in the Middle East. In this case the main directions of attack will be Central Asia from Afghanistan and Caucasus from Iraq.
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