MESOP : EX-PUTIN OFFICERS TRAIN ISIS / Kurdistan president Barzani : Soviet, Iraqi, Pakistani officers leading Islamic State attacks

SPUTNIK NEWS – 8 Feb 2015 – : Retired officers from Iraq, Pakistan and the former Soviet Union are leading the Islamic State’s attacks in Iraq and Syria, Massoud Barzani, President of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region.

“They have experts from various countries of the world. Daesh [Arab acronym of IS] has attracted retired army officers from the former Soviet army, from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan and Chechnya. They also have military experts from Pakistan, and a large number of former Iraqi officers. Officers from other Arab countries have also joined them,” Barzani told Al-Hayat newspaper.Some 50,000 people are fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq, and the former servicemen are leading the group’s suicide car bombings and sniper attacks, and “use artillery very precisely, which can only be done by professionals,” Barzani said. According to the Iraqi Kurdish leader, IS seized a large weapons arsenal, as well as about 1,700 US-made armored Hummer vehicles in its offensive in northern Iraq last year, forcing six Iraqi military units to flee. In addition, the rebels control numerous weapon warehouses in Syria. Addressing the US-led coalition’s airstrikes against the extremist group, Barzani said that this assistance is much needed, noting that the fight against IS would last longer and claim more lives without the coalition’s support.