ISIS claims that three Russian soldiers were killed yesterday by an improvised explosive device on the road to Raqqa.
The Amaq News Agency, a semi-official media outlet for the terrorist organisation, published the claims this evening, accompanied by photos purportedly taken from one of the dead soldiers’ phones.
Two photos of documents, apparently taken from the phones, were also included in the report.
One is a remuneration request for work as a telephone operator at a military base near Troitskaya in Ingushetia, dating from the year 2000. The copy of the document is made out to one Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov. The base named, unit 64670, is home to the 291st Artillery Brigade.
Another is a letter from no earlier than 2005, confirming that one Viktor Viktorovich Marchenko is registered with the Russian Federal Tax Service in the village of Malgobek ijn the Mozdoksky district of North Ossetia-Alania.
The photos show several different men in Russian military uniform. One of the men appears in three different photographs.
The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), a group of Russian investigative bloggers, has identified the patches worn in the photo above as belonging to the 18th Independent Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, based at military unit 27777 in Chechnya.
The mountainous terrain seen in some of the other photos would therefore likely be the northern Caucasus.
Neither Russian officials nor media have commented on the claims yet.
— Pierre Vaux