Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov yesterday confirmed that Chechens are serving in the Russian Defense Ministry battalion of military police in Syria. In addition, the Chechen authorities have decided to rebuild the mosque and the minaret of the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo.
Kadyrov met with his advisor, State Duma Deputy Adam Delimkhanov and the Mufti of Chechnya Salah Haji Mezhiev who visited Syria and met Syrian military General Maher al-Assad, brother of President Bashar al-Assad.
Representatives of the Chechen government met with a “religious leaders, teachers and students of the University of Damascus, the governor of the province of Aleppo Hussein Diyab and representatives of the Russian military commanders,” according to Kadyrov’s Instagram profile.
The Chechen delegation, having met the Chechen contingent of Russian military police, also witnessed the destruction of the Great Mosque, leading to the decision to fund its restoration.
“The terrorists are generated by western intelligence agencies, and have nothing to do with Islam. On the contrary, this project is directed specifically against Muslims and Islam, seeks to destroy the Muslim countries, completely undermine their economic and military power, to deprive political leadership to put Islam in the eyes of the world as the main evil, take account of its own citizens from domestic problems. By the will of the Almighty these plans will not be fulfilled, and the authors will suffer a humiliating defeat, ” Kadyrov said in his statement.
The Great Mosque, also known as the Umayyad Mosque, was reopened in 2006 after a 20-year renovation project by the Syrian government. Aleppo’s Old City, a UNESCO world heritage site, also boasts a 13th century citadel, a huge bazaar and several other monuments, nearly all of which have been damaged or destroyed following attempts by foreign-backed militant groups to overrun the city. Other parts of the mosque complex – which dates mostly from the 12th Century – have been badly damaged by gunfire and shell hits.