» 02/11/2015, 00.00
SYRIA - UNITED STATES
Syria, more than 20 thousand foreign fighters have joined the jihad
The number of volunteers who have joined the militias of the Islamic State has increased at an "unprecedented" rate. They come from more than 90 nations worldwide, at least 3,400 from the West (150 from the United States). A carefully masterminded propaganda and an "alienated" life are the main factors which lead many to join the jihadists.
/ Agencies) -
In the last period the number of foreign militants arriving in Syria via Turkey to join
the jihad has increased at an "unprecedented" rate. Worldwide
more than 20 thousand people have joined the ranks of
the Islamic State or other extremist
groups. According to US intelligence the volunteers
of the holy war come from more than
90 nations and,
of these, at least 3,400 from Western
states (150 Americans).
The report released by the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC),
headquartered in Virginia, states that foreign fighters prefer to enlist among the
militias of the Islamic State, seen
today as more attractive than
other extremist and terrorist movements.
Experts have updated the estimates published in January, according to which about
thousand jihadists arrived in Syria. There is no reliable data, but according to NCTC director Nicholas Rasmussen, the " the trend lines are
clear and concerning".
To underpin the dimensions of the phenomenon, the intelligence expert explains that "the number of direct foreign fighters in Syria is unprecedented" and "exceeds" that of those who have gone to "Afghanistan
and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia or other areas in the last 20 years". The type of foreign jihadist going to the
Middle East, "do not fit into any stereotype" and
come from a
range of backgrounds.
For some time Western governments have been warning about
the growing number of citizens who leave for Syria and
Iraq, to fight in the ranks
of the Islamist groups. A phenomenon that has grown even more in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, which caused 17 deaths and panic
in the heart of Europe.
According to the NCTC Director Islamic State militias attract such a large number of fighters thanks to
the optimal use of propaganda on
the internet and social media; videos
and films, made in different languages and well
produced, seem to appeal to thrill seeking young Westerners. Besides images of beheadings and
violence, the group has figured
out how to reach and indoctrinate thousands of
boys and girls; they oppose
a "bucolic" and fascinating image of life in the territories occupied by the "Caliphate"
to a "alienated" and hopeless life. "Al Qaeda and its various branches in the Middle East and Africa - said Nicholas Rasmussen - have never displayed such
an acumen with propaganda".
07/11/2017 10:03:00 SYRIA
Hundreds of families return to Raqqa after the expulsion of Isis
Returns to the former jihadist stronghold in Syria have begun. The first phase concerns the eastern district of Al-Meshleb, cleansed of explosives left by the militiamen. Land reclamation work continues. In recent days, several civilian deaths due to detonation of mines.
05/05/2016 09:49:00 SYRIA
Aleppo, "partial truce" between Syrian army and rebel groups
Last night “a partial and shaky" ceasefire went into effect between the two sides at war. Jihadist groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda excluded. Fundamental role of diplomatic pressure from Russia and the United States, concerned about the escalation of violence. In less than two weeks 300 civilian casualties in the northern capital.
18/03/2016 19:42:00 SYRIA – UNITED STATES
Responding to Kerry, Patriarch Laham says war is taking place in Syria, not genocide
Gregory III criticises the US Secretary’s claim because it is "no good" for Syria’s ethnic and religious groups. For the bishop, it is necessary not to link religion and war; otherwise, matter will be worse. What is needed is more work on peace and coexistence. Syrian bishops call on the faithful to pray for the success of the Geneva talks.
09/03/2017 14:40:00 SYRIA – UNITED STATES
Marines in Syria for the assault against Raqqa
US troops plan to help the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces. Their deployment has not been authorised by Syria’s Assad, but certainly received Russia’s green light.
10/09/2016 15:12:00 SYRIA – UNITED STATES – RUSSIA
United States and Russia reach ceasefire agreement on Syria
John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov reach deal in Geneva. A nationwide truce will begin at sunset on Monday. This will allow the distribution of humanitarian aid in the most affected areas. After seven days, a Russian-American joint centre will come into operation to fight against terrorist groups. Air strikes are in specific areas of the country.
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
15/01/2018 LEBANON - SYRIA
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