EU, Arabs to discuss threats of foreign terrorists in Syria

EU, Arabs to discuss threats of foreign terrorists in Syria
Fri Feb 7, 2014 09:19:12

Experts from the European Union and eight Arab countries plus Turkey will reportedly hold a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss threats posed by foreign terrorists in Syria.

Reports say EU countries are increasingly worried about hundreds of young European Muslims who have travelled to Syria to take part in the war against the Syrian government. Many of foreign militants have joined al-Qaeda-affiliated groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or al-Nusra Front.

The Arab countries invited to the meeting are Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia.

French President Francois Hollande said last month that 700 people had left France to join the fighting in Syria in what he called a “worrying” trend.

“A certain number of young Frenchmen and young foreigners living in France... are fighting in Syria - 700 are listed, that’s a lot. Some are dead,” Hollande told a press conference in Paris.

Hollande said young people needed to be warned about the dangers of going to Syria and that France needed to “fight against a certain number of networks and havens that sustain terrorism.”

French officials have warned of the dangers from French citizens fighting with extremist and al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria.

Western security officials have raised fears that foreign fighters trained in Syria could carry out attacks on home soil.

In an interview with Argentina’s Clarin newspaper in May 2013, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said militants from 29 different countries were fighting against the government in different parts of the country.

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

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.

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