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Two Azerbaijani Islamic State Fighters Reportedly Killed


There are unconfirmed reports circulating on Azerbaijani media outlets that two Azerbaijani nationals fighting with Islamic State have been killed in Syria.

One of the men was named as Seymur Topçubaşovdur, who fought under the nom de guerre Abu Abdurauf al-Azeri and commanded an artillery platoon. The other man was named as Abu Sureyya from Sumqayit, the large industrial city north of Baku.

The reports did not say where the fighters died. However, it is possible that they were killed in or near Kobani in northern Syria.

Islamic State fighters speaking Azerbaijani can be heard in a recent video posted on YouTube by the Aamaq News Agency, which shows footage of a group of jihadi fighters just outside of Kobani.

There have been reports of Azerbaijani fighters in Syria since May 2012.

Exact numbers of Azerbaijani fighters in Syria are not known. Estimates in news reports have ranged from 200 to 300. The largest group is likely fighting in Islamic State. In May, the leader of an Azerbaijani Islamic State faction in Raqqa, Mohammad al-Azeri, gave a video address in which he stated that Islamic State was on the correct path of jihad in Syria.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena

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