Author Topic: The Syrian rebel groups pulling in foreign fighters  (Read 258 times)

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Offline EC

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The Syrian rebel groups pulling in foreign fighters
« on: January 01, 2014, 05:15:42 AM »
If you'll excuse my French - Effing Kazaks.

Via the BBC:

Throughout the Syrian civil war, one of the major concerns of Western powers in particular has been the inflow of Sunni foreign fighters, who come from the wider Arab world, Western Europe, and as far afield as Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

According to a recent estimate by Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, there could be up to 11,000 of these fighters. It raises the questions of which groups they join, and what the relations between these groups are.

By far the two most popular banners for these foreign fighters are al-Qaeda's official Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

ISIS is the result of a unilateral attempt by the leader of Iraq's al-Qaeda affiliate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to merge his group with al-Nusra. The move was rejected al-Nusra's leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, and by al-Qaeda overall leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but Baghdadi refused to disband ISIS.
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Of the two organisations, ISIS appears to attract more foreign fighters.

They constitute a majority of ISIS's elite fighter corps and are disproportionately represented in its leadership, as opposed to native Syrian majorities on both counts in al-Nusra.

Much more at link.
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