'5,500 foreigners fighting in Syria'


LONDON: Nearly 600 Europeans have gone to Syria since early 2011, representing 7-11% of the foreign fighters there in total.

A day after G8 confirmed that Syria had become the hotbed for foreign terrorists, the international centre for the study of radicalization has pinpointed the exact numbers. The centre, which is part of King's College, London has found more than 450 martyrdom notices that have been posted in jihadist online forums around Syria.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in early 2011, the centre estimates that about 5,500-odd foreign fighters have gone to Syria to fight with opposition forces. From Europe, Britain may have exported 134 fighters, Netherlands 107, France 92, Belgium 85, Denmark 78, Germany 40, Ireland 26, Finland 13, Spain 6 and Sweden 5. European countries like Albania, Austria, Bulgaria and Kosovo have exported one fighter each to Syria.

Professor Peter Neumann at King's in collaboration with Aaron Y Zelin at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy provides the first full assessment of how many Europeans have joined the rebels in Syria, and the extent to which the conflict has mobilized Muslims across the world.

They estimate that nearly 441 Europeans are currently in Syrian battlefields.

Source http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/5500-foreigners-fighting-in-Syria/articleshow/19520800.cms

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