A video shared online by Pro-Assad sources claims that the Syrian army has captured a Chinese Uyghur militant following an attack in Idlib.
The video shows a rather scared looking Asian man with long hair sitting on his knees, while the Syrian soldiers surround him are seen mocking and part his hair to show his full face.
A soldier is heard in the background saying: "Made in China by Salafist Ideology, exported illegally to Syria by joint venture group that is USA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, UK and France, to kill Syrians and now, arrested by the Syrian army. Ladies and Gentlemen here is "Chinese Uyghur terrorist."
There is no information as to when the Chinese Uyghur militant was captured. The veracity of the claim can not independently be verified. There is, however, enough proof to suggest a high-population of Uyghur Muslims in Idlib.
Syrian government forces backed by Iranian proxy militants and Russian airstrikes has been pushing into Idlib. The northern Syrian province of Idlib is the last remaining stronghold controlled by forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian forces in the last couple of months have captured dozens of towns and villages including a key strategic highway, the main economic artery through Syria from north to south, linking Damascus, Homs and Aleppo.
Inside Idlib, the main armed groups operating are Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, a jihadist alliance); National Liberation Front (Turkish-backed rebel alliance); Hurras al-Din (pro-al-Qaeda HTS offshoot); and Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP, Chinese Uyghur-dominated jihadist group).
The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) is a group of Uighur fighters, who mostly fight alongside HTS. The Uighurs - a Muslim ethnic minority primarily based in China's Xinjiang province - established a presence in northern Syria in the early years of the civil war.
There are also the predominantly-Uzbek Tawhid and Jihad Brigade, which is aligned with HTS, and the Imam al-Bukhari Brigade. According to a BBC report, the foreign jihadists in Idlib, many of whom are fighting for groups associated with al-Qaeda.
As per the report, there are about 30-40,000 foreign fighters mainly Uyghur, Tajik, Uzbek, Turks, and others from 103 nationalities - many with their migrated families in Idlib.