Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Army Forces claim to have captured an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighter from China. If the claim proves accurate, it would be the first time a Chinese national has been found fighting for the terrorist organization ISIS.
Iraq’s Minister of Defense posted two pictures of what appeared to be a captured soldier, along with a short message that described the man as a “Chinese Daash,” the South China Morning Post reported, adding that the Chinese government has yet to release a statement on the Iraqi claims.
“Daash” is an acronym for “Dulat al-Islam fi al-Iraq wal-Sham,” Arabic for the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria. In one picture, the captured Islamic militant, whose face is badly swollen, is seen being guarded by an Iraqi soldier while, in another picture, the militant is shown lying apparently unconscious on the ground.
If the captured militant proves to be a Chinese national, it would be the first sign of Chinese citizens fighting for the Sunni group in Iraq and Syria, along with hundreds of other foreign Islamists, including citizens of Britain, Australia and the United States, who have traveled to this region of the Middle East, answering the call of jihad to establish what they call an “Islamic Caliphate.”
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in a July speech stated that “Muslim rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine”, and urged all Muslims around the world to join his cause.
Wu Sike, China’s special envoy to the Middle East, has previously stated than an estimated 100 Chinese citizens may be fighting for the Islamic State. They are mostly Muslim Uyghurs from China’s remote western region of Xinjiang, according to Wu.
Yin Gang, a West Asian and African Studies scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, estimated that hundreds of Chinese nationals have been fighting for the Islamic State.
“‘All Muslims under heaven are one family’. These Chinese nationals are responding to the extreme Muslims’ call to join the jihad of ISIS and are seeking to gather combat experience,” Yin said.
He said these fighters previously sought to join al-Qaeda in Afghanistan but as the nation became politically more stable, they are now entering Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, because the region is “the paradise of Jihadists”.