Al-Alam Exclusive

Tunisians turn up as rebels in Syria

Mon Apr 29, 2013 19:55:30

Some Tunisian families only learn of their beloved son's fate upon getting some news revealing that they are fighting in frontlines of Syria.

The subject of foreign rebels going to be trained to fight Syria government is nothing new, but Tunisian families’ pain of losing their sons never gets old.

Umm Bilal is a Tunisian mother who has been looking for a sign of her son, after he left for Turkey, but he was spotted in a border area between Turkey and Syria, waiting to be sent to fight.

Mohammad al-Amdouni, another Tunisian young boy, also told his family that he wanted to go to Libya for work, but his latest call was from a rebel camp in Syrian border.

At present, Tunisia estimates that around 40% of foreign militants in Syria hold Tunisian nationality. More than two-thirds of them have joined al-Nusra Front.

Despite censuring those countries recruting Tunisian youth to fight in Syria, Tunisian families have organized demonstrations demanding these authorities return their sons to their homeland.

On March 12, the Tunisian newspaper El-Shorouk released a detailed report, citing the Asia News Agency, stating that dozens of Tunisians had recently been killed in Syria. It included their names, their pictures, and their home provinces, as well as the places and dates of their deaths in Syria.


According to El-Shorouk, Qatar is funneling money to Tunisian NGOs to recruit militants and dispatch them to Syria. From Qatar, these networks obtain "a pledge of $3,000 in exchange for every Tunisian youth who enlists."


Al-Wasit, another Tunisian newspaper, printed another report detailing the isolation of these youths in military camps in the desert triangle between Libya, Tunisia and Algeria, and how they are subsequently transported to Turkey. There they are welcomed by other rebel groups who insert them into Syrian territory. They are given only a rushed period of training which, according to the paper, "facilitates their death or capture."


According to As-Safir's sources, militant groups in Libya have established training camps in the Ghadames province, which is no further than 70 km from the Tunisian border. These young men receive some military training and are then transferred to the Zawiyah province, where they complete their training in a period of 20 days. From there they are transferred to Brega port for the voyage to Istanbul and then to the Syrian borders. At that point, they are handed over to so-called Free Syrian Army and al-Nusrah Front militant groups.

string(846) "[{"id":"1468462","sort":"3009767","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/04/26/alalam_635026080773108767_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"World imperialism seeking to ignite war in Syria"} ,{"id":"1469051","sort":"3009768","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/04/28/alalam_635027665970728123_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Morsi sends delegation to Iran to discuss Syria"} ,{"id":"1469096","sort":"3009769","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/04/28/alalam_635027691633358579_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Jordan not to involve in Syria war: politician"} ,{"id":"1469132","sort":"3009770","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/04/28/alalam_635027818997528274_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran calls for swift solution to Syria unrest"} ,{"id":"1469526","sort":"3009771","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/04/29/alalam_635028567660970704_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran warns against attack on Syria"} ]"