TBILISI, DFWatch–President of Georgia slammed his predecessor Mikheil Saakashvili, accusing him of manipulating with important and strategic issues of the country’s security just for his own interests.
Mikheil Saakashvili earlier in Monday criticized the government for its inactivity to prevent Georgian citizens travelling to Syria to fight for ISIS. Georgians are being tricked to go to Syria, he said.
“[The government] didn’t take a single step to prevent it,” Saakashvili said to Rustavi 2.
On Tuesday Giorgi Margvelashvili responded by advising Saakashvili to abandon attempts of damaging the country’s ‘stability and its state interests.’
“You are well aware about important role Georgia has played concerning the global security and stability. Number of Georgian soldiers heroically serve in ISAF mission and Central African Republic,” president said.
In 2014 at least 8 Georgians died in Syria. Up to 100 Georgians, mostly from Pankisi Gorge, fight in the Middle East among the ranks of various Islamic groups. Vast majority of them are members of the ISIS.
Majority of Pankisi population consists of Kists, or subgroup of ethnic Chechens.
Tarkhan Batirashvili, a.k.a. Abu Omar Shishani, of Birkiani village of Pankisi Gorge, is a former sergeant of the Georgian Army who now leads ISIS armed forces in Syria.
Another prominent Islamic field commander of the Kist origin, Ruslan Machalikashvili, a.k.a. Seyfullah Shishani, was killed in February.