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Chechen Special Forces to Be Deployed to Syria

Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Two Chechen special forces battalions of the Defense Ministry are being deployed to Syria, the Kommersant newspaper reported Thursday.

On Dec. 6, the news site Kavkaz.Realii reported that the two battalions, known as Vostok and Zapad, were leaving the Khankala military base in Grozny and published a video shot by one of the troops. 

It is believed that the battalions will guard the Russian airfield at Hmeimim in Syria's Latakia province, as well as territory under Syrian government control. 

On Dec. 7, the television channel Dozhd, citing a source close to the leadership of the Chechen Republic and a relative of one of the troops, reported that the battalions were being sent to Syria to carry out "anti-terrorist" operations.

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