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Majlis Podcast: Where Will Central Asian Militants Go As They Flee The Middle East? 


Many Central Asian militants have traveled to the Middle East to fight for the Islamic State group. (illustrative file photo)

The topic of this week’s Majlis, or panel discussion, was the Central Asians who made their way to Syria and Iraq to join with militant groups fighting in those two countries.

The Islamic State extremist group appears to now be making its last stand in places like Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria and other groups are similarly losing ground to the array of local and foreign military forces opposing them.

What might happen now to the Central Asians who helped fill their ranks?

Will they stay and fight to the end?

Will they flee, and, if so, where will they go?

Muhammad Tahir, RFE/RL's media relations manager, moderated the discussion. Przemyslaw Ozierski, the deputy director of the Central Asia Strategic Center for Analysis, took part from Bishkek. And joining the Majlis from the Foundation For Defense and Democracies in Washington D.C. were Aykan Erdemir, a senior fellow for Turkish Affairs, and Merve Tahiroglu, a Turkish Affairs researcher.

As usual, I also participated from Prague.

Listen to or download the Majlis podcast below or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes.

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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change. Content will draw on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad. The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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