Thursday, December 21, 2017

Chinese Troops Arrive in Syria to Fight Uyghur Rebels the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah 

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs - December 20, 2017

The Syrian conflict has an endless capability to surprise analysts as seemingly every other day a new element, unprecedented in the Syrian civil war, comes to the surface. Such is the case with the arrival of the first Chinese Army special forces unit, “the Night Tigers,” to Syria’s Tartous port on the Mediterranean, according to reports in Arab media close to the Assad and Tehran regimes (the Al-Mayadeen TV channel).2 The Night Tigers were dispatched by Beijing to fight the Uyghurs, the Muslim Chinese ethnic group fighting with the rebel forces against the Assad regime.
According to these press reports, Beijing planned to send two units from the Special Operations Forces – the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers” – to assist Assad’s regime against Chinese Uyghurs fighting with radical Muslim organizations in Syria. However, unlike the news reporting about the arrival of the “Night Tigers,” no confirmation has been received yet on the second unit.
According to the Syrian ambassador to China, some 5,000 ethnic Uyghurs from China’s Xinjiang province are presently in Syria. President Assad stressed the “crucial cooperation” between Syria and Chinese intelligence against Uyghur militants last year. Following the visit of Chinese Admiral Guan Yufi mid-2016 to Syria, the Chinese military has been present in Syria to train Syrian forces on Chinese-made weapons, intelligence gathering, logistics, and field medicine.3

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