Foreign militants use Turkey to slip into Syria

Foreign militants use Turkey to slip into Syria
Sat Dec 7, 2013 11:42:29

Foreign-based militants linked to al-Qaeda terrorist network are using safe houses in southern Turkey to cross into Syria to engage in an insurgency war against government forces, a new report reveals.

An individual running one such house near the border town of Reyhanli said more than 150 people, including up to 20 Britons, had used it in the past three months, British state media BBC reports Saturday.

According to the report, the route through Turkey used by al-Qaeda-linked foreign militants is now becoming increasingly organized.

The report further cites a man in charge of the safe house near Reyhanli as saying that "more than 150 people stayed at the house" in the past 90 days.

"Between 15 and 20 were British. It's all done through invitations from friends," he added.

The unidentified individual is further cited as stating that the foreign-backed insurgents usually "stay for a day or two before crossing into Syria and stay on the way back when they are waiting for flights back to their home countries."

The report then cites another militant “from France” as adding that "there are thousands of us, literally from every corner of the world."

"And we are all al-Qaeda," he insisted.

The French militant, only identified as “a former student in France,” is also quoted as claiming that he had joined a brigade which had 8,000 men.

He reportedly added that the brigade had recently pledged allegiance to the radical terror group that calls itself the “Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.”

Over the past year, the report confirms, thousands of foreign militants, “including about 300 British nationals,” have poured into Syria to help the foreign-backed effort to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The report goes on to cite a Syrian opposition “commander” from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) as claiming that the al-Qaeda-linked foreign militants are also targeting FSA insurgents.

"They told us we were not true Muslims," the commander reportedly said.

"I saw how they beat my friends with iron bars, smashed their faces with ammunition boxes and then killed them. The floor was covered with blood.

The commander added that he was one of the few men from the unit to survive.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

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