Author Topic: Serving Australian soldier killed fighting alongside Syrian rebels; dozens of Aussies in extremist groups  (Read 260 times)

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Offline mountaineer

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ABC News reports:
A serving Australian soldier has been killed fighting with rebels in Syria.

The ABC has been told that the man was an infantry soldier who was still a member of the Australian Defence Force when he travelled to Syria to fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The Defence Force would not confirm or deny the death, and directed the ABC's inquiries to the Attorney-General's Department and the Australian Federal Police, neither of which would respond to direct questions about the man's fate.

It is unclear whether he was a reservist or a full-time soldier, or what special skills he may have learned in his Defence Force service. However, it is understood that he died two months ago.

The death raises questions about the ability of the Defence Force to recognise the signs of radicalisation of its members. 

The vast majority of foreign fighters who travel to Syria have no combat or military experience, making any military training in a recruit an asset to the rebel groups.

In January, it was reported that a Dutch soldier of Turkish origin who was disgusted by the West's failure to halt the killing in Syria had quit the army and travelled to the battle zone, where he was training rebels.

Last year, a former United States soldier who fought with Syrian rebels, Eric Harroun, served a brief stint in an American prison after pleading guilty to minor charges involving conspiracy to transfer defence articles and services.

But the Australian is believed to be the first serving member of a Western army to be killed while fighting with the rebels.

A number of Australians have been killed in Syria while supplying aid or fighting for factions within the rebel movement.

Sydney man Caner Temel, 22, was killed in January, allegedly while fighting for the extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant against more moderate rebels.

His death came days after the killing of Sydney man Yusuf Ali and his young wife Amira near Aleppo. The circumstances in which the couple died are still unclear, but it was reported they were also killed during fighting between rebel factions.

Roger Abbas, 23, a well-known kickboxer from Melbourne, reportedly went to Syria to do aid work, became involved with the Jabhat al-Nusra group, and was killed in October 2012.

Another Melbourne man, Yusuf Toprakkaya, was shot dead by a sniper while fighting for a rebel group in December 2012.

Sydney preacher Mustafa al-Majzoub was killed by a rocket while doing what his family says was humanitarian work in Syria in August 2012.

And a Brisbane man is suspected of being the first Australian suicide bomber, after blowing up himself and a number of Syrian soldiers at a checkpoint last September.

It is believed there are dozens more Australians fighting in Syria, and that some have reached senior positions in extremist Islamic groups.

ASIO has also confiscated the passports of some Australians to stop them travelling to Syria and the wider region.

In December, Sydney man Hamdi Al Qudsi was arrested and charged with assisting people travelling to Syria to fight in the long-running conflict.

He faces seven charges under the Crimes Act relating to foreign incursions and recruitments.

Between June and August last year, Al Qudsi is accused of helping Yusuf Ali enter Syria "with the intent to engage in a hostile activity, in particular engaging in armed hostilities".
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Offline happyg

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It's becoming hard to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys. Evil has taken a hold in the world.

Offline Bigun

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It's becoming hard to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys. Evil has taken a hold in the world.

It's hard because we know so little about the TRUE situation. That's the hard part! Figuring out what's REALLY going on because you sure as hell ain't going to find out via CNN or the papers!

Online Fishrrman

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happyg wrote:
[[ It's becoming hard to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys. Evil has taken a hold in the world. ]]

Not in Syria, nor in most other parts of the islamic world.

Unless they're Christian, they're ALL "the bad guys". Every one.

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