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Chechen leader offers to send ‘peacekeeping force’ to Gaza

October 10, 2023 at 3:46 pm

Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov on October 14, 2019 [ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images]

Chechen leader and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ramzan Kadyrov, has expressed support for Palestine and offered to send his soldiers to Gaza as a peacekeeping force. The Palestinian enclave continues to be bombed by Israel amid the Hamas-led resistance Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

“I address the leaders of Muslim nations: create a coalition and reach out to those who you call friends, Europe and the whole West, so that they don’t bomb peaceful civilians on the pretext of destroying [Hamas] fighters,” said Kadyrov on Telegram. “We support Palestine. And we are against this war, which unlike other conflicts can escalate into something bigger. If necessary, our units are ready to act as a peacekeeping force to restore order and counter any troublemakers.”

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The Chechen leader also confirmed reports that a Hamas rocket fell near a mosque he erected in honour of his father, the first leader of Chechnya, Akhmat Kadyrov. According to Israel’s foreign ministry yesterday, a rocket “directly hit the Akhmat Kadyrov mosque.” Near Jerusalem, it is the second-largest mosque in the occupation state, located in the village of Abu Ghosh. No injuries were reported.

Last year, Kadyrov mobilised Chechen forces and deployed them to Ukraine in support of the Russian invasion.

Newsweek reports that Russian officials have yet to choose a side in the Gaza conflict, “although speculations arose online that Moscow could have had a role in Hamas’ successful attack, which took Israeli intelligence by surprise.”

Reacting to Kadyrov’s remarks today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow continued to maintain ties with both Palestine and Israel.

“We have longstanding historical ties with the Palestinians, we continue our contacts… but at the same time, we also have our relations with the state of Israel, with whom we also have a lot in common,” Peskov said. He noted the “large number” of Russian nationals living in Israel.

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