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From The Pankisi Gorge To The Battlefields Of Syria

The Pankisi Gorge in Georgia has long been notorious as a hideout for Chechen rebels, Islamist extremists, and smugglers. It’s also become a recruitment zone for Islamic State militants. In April, it was reported that two teenagers from the Muslim Kist community crossed the border into Turkey, before making their way to Syria. But it is believed that greater numbers are making the journey. A council of elders has appealed to the Georgian government to take action. Marina Vashakmadze, Giorgi Gogua and Zviad Mchedlishvili of RFE/RL’s Georgian Service visited the Pankisi Gorge to hear what the people living there have to say.