China's special forces are set to join the skirmish in Syria to counter the terrorism of the Islamic East Turkistan Movement in the Damascus countryside according to Hmeimim Russian Military Base in West Syria.
The Russian base noted on its Facebook page that the Chinese Ministry of Defense intends to send two units, the "Tigers of Siberia" and the "Night Tigers" from the Special Operations Forces, in order to assist Syrian regime troops in the fight against terror group Islamic East Turkestan Movement which was spotted aiding terrorist groups in Syria, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.
While it seems odd that a military base would announce it's strategy and troop movements to the world on their public Facebook page, perhaps the Chinese intended to announce the presence of their elite special forces as an intimidation tactic. Currently, estimates put the Islamic East Turkistan Movement militants at 2,500 troops operating in Syria.
The Middle East Monitor reported last week during a meeting with Syrian Presidential Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised the regime's efforts fighting the militants from the Islamic East Turkistan Movement.
According to the Syrian regime, some 5,000 fighters of Uyghur origin have arrived in Syria, an ethnic Muslim minority that Chinese authorities often accuse of terrorism. The fighters illegally slipped through Southeast Asia and Turkey.
This is actually not the first time Chinese troops will have crossed into Syria, in 2015 the Syrian regime allowed 5,000 soldiers to enter its territory as allied forces and stationed them near the western region of Latakia. Among the troops were Chinese military advisors, naval and aerial reinforcements.
China is one of five nations on the UN Security Council with the power to veto, both China and Russia have shown their willingness to use its veto power more than once to protect the interests of the Syrian regime.
The Syrian regime has held the upper hand in a six-year-long civil war with the help of Russian support. It is believed that more than 500,000 people have been killed by the brutal war since 2011. The Chinese Special Forces are deploying on the heel of the first opening of an overseas Chinese military base which opened in August in the Horn of Africa.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is emphasizing the development of a modernized military program to develop the ability for Chinese forces to operate overseas.
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