TARKHAN TAYUMURAZOVICH BATIRASHVILI

QDi.345
Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee's website: 
23 January 2015
Date(s) on which the narrative summary was updated: 
3 February 2016
Reason for listing: 

Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili was listed on 23 January 2015 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 2161 (2014) as being associated with Al-Qaida for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to”, “recruiting for” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, listed as Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) (QDe.115).

Additional information: 

Over the past several years, Syria-based Georgian national Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili has held a number of top military positions within Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), listed as Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) (QDe.115), and has led a number of attacks.

As of mid-2014, Batirashvili was a senior ISIL commander and shura council member located in Al-Raqqah, Syrian Arab Republic. He was identified as the ISIL military commander in a public video distributed by the group in late June 2014. Batirashvili oversaw an ISIL prison facility in Al-Tabqa, close to Al-Raqqah, where ISIL possibly held foreign hostages. As of mid-2014, Batirashvili also coordinated closely with ISIL's financial section and had a base of operations for the terrorist organization in the Minbij area of the Syrian Arab Republic.

In early June 2014, Batirashvili ordered ISIL members to travel from the Syrian Arab Republic to Iraq to retrieve vehicles, weapons, and ammunition. According to an official social media account for ISIL in the Hasakah Governorate of the Syrian Arab Republic as at Dec. 2014, Batirashvili issued an important communiqué ordering the general mobilization of all ISIL provinces to support the group’s efforts in Mosul, Iraq, and to prepare for any emergencies.

Earlier in 2014, Batirashvili was described as a member of ISIL's shura council. In May 2013, he was appointed northern commander for ISIL by ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, listed as Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai (QDi.299), with authority over ISIL’s military operations and ISIL’s forces in northern Syria, specifically Aleppo, Al-Raqqah, Latakia, and northern Idlib provinces. As of late 2013, he was the ISIL leader for northern Syria and was located in and around Aleppo Province. He was also in charge of fighters from Chechnya, Russian Federation and elsewhere in the Caucasus region. At this time, Batirashvili led approximately 1,000 foreign fighters for ISIL to attack the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic at Jabal Shuwayhnah, Rif Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic.

Batirashvili pledged allegiance to ISIL and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in mid-2013. In pledging his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Batirashvili said that some members of the brigade he commanded, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (not listed), joined him in swearing allegiance to ISIL. According to a December 2013 statement Batirashvili released, his pledge of allegiance to ISIL and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi came after fighting alongside ISIL and following a consultation held among other fighters from Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar.

In addition, Batirashvili publicly acknowledged his role as a senior ISIL military commander in a November 2013 public interview with an unofficial ISIL weekly newspaper. In this interview, he acknowledged arriving in the Syrian Arab Republic in March 2012, described his reasons for joining ISIL, and outlined his role as the military commander of ISIL. He also described five separate military operations he led on behalf of ISIL, including the storming of the Syrian government-controlled Ming Airport. Batirashvili acknowledged that his forces broke into 11 Syrian military installations and seized unidentified spoils from eight of them.