TBILISI, DFWatch–Two Georgian boys, one 18 and the other younger, have allegedly left the country to become fighers for Islamic State in Syria, acording to locals.
The two were attending tenth and eleventh grade at a school in the village Omalo, in Pankisi Gorge. They have now been missing for two days.
Locals think they may have left for Syria, and this was later confirmed by the Interior Ministry. Nino Giorgobiani, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, on Saturday informed that general inspection will study how 16-year-old illegally crossed the border.
The two will now likely be in Turkey heading to Syria. Giorgobiani says Georgia notified Turkish party to provide information about them.
In the end of February, Information Center of Kakheti (ICK) wrote that more young people from Pankisi have joined the war in Syria.
There has been pressure on the government to stop Pankisi youth from being recruited for Islamic State. In December, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said the Pankisi youth are no longer going to Syria. Parliament is working to establish stricter punishment for those who go abroad to fight with terrorist organizations.
Beslan Margoshvilli, 18, was also missing from mid-January and is also likely to be in Syria with IS.
The most well-known IS fighter from Pankisi is Tarkhan Batirashvili, 29, also known as Omar Al-Shishani.