In recent days, a militant group claimed responsibility for stealing weapons shipment from a Warsaw Pact site in the Caucasus and releasing a video that shows them with the arms. The United Nations Security Council was recently presented with another video, from Liveleak, video that allegedly portrays the same militants responsible for stealing an arms shipment from a Warsaw Pact site. In the video, which is speculated to have been filmed somewhere along the Turkish-Syrian border, shows dozen s of masked militants and what appears to be civilians tied up as prisoners are shown.
Once the video was shown, the consensus of the Security Council was to immediately shift focus to this issue. However, this didn’t come without certain concerns and skepticism from some Member States in the committee. Mostly, concerns are coming from the section of the video that shows the exterior where the militants are seen with civilian prisoners.
There are three flags that appear in the background. The flags are of Al Qaeda, ISIL, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), militant terrorist groups that seem to be aligned with the masked soldiers in the video.
This raised raises a few questions, mainly because Al Qaeda and ISIL have not been allies since 2013. The leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, even went as far as to call ISIL “a group of liars” in a recent statement. ISIL and Al Qaeda were formerly allies, when ISIL was the Islamic State in Iraq. However, a split occurred in 2013 leading to ISIL to take its current form.
The IMU also had a partial split from ISIL, occurring shortly after an initial alliance was formed between the two. Certain factions of the IMU were against partnering with ISIL and split from the main IMU. The group has been in turmoil since and their number of attacks have dropped since 2013.
Delegates of the Security Council were quick to notice this. and Since, many have questioned the legitimacy of the group shown in the video as well as just how dangerous they really are. The delegate of Egypt expressed his skepticism over the matter, as well as his doubts into how dangerous the group is compared to ISIS.
The delegates of Russia and China both held similar concerns over the matter. Yet they, along with the rest of the Member States present committee, still felt that the matter was urgent and tabled their current deliberation on civilian safety in conflict zones in order to address the video.
Even if the affiliations of the group seen in the video cannot be determined, they still have a full weapons shipment that makes them a relative danger in the area. Russia has also said that it has an ongoing investigation looking into the theft of the weapons shipment. The delegate of Russia has said that it will comment further on the matter once the investigation yields more information.