19 foreigners join IS in Syria in December

Damascus, Jan 3:  At least 19 men, mostly Russians, joined the Sunni radical group Islamic State (IS) in Syria through Turkey last December, a monitoring group reported on Friday.

At least 19 men arrived in batches at the Turkish territories earlier last month on pretext of taking part in the New Year's celebrations, Xinhua quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based watchdog group that relies on a network of activists on ground, as saying.


After arriving in Turkey, the groups gradually moved to a Turkish border point, adjacent to the northeastern countryside of Syria's northern province of Aleppo, where they assembled and entered the Syrian territories in two groups through Aleppo's northeastern town of al-Rai, which is under the IS control, according to the Observatory.

Both groups reached the city of al-Bab in northern Aleppo, where the IS militants sent them to the IS defacto capital of al-Raqqa in northern Syria to join the IS training camps, said the Observatory.

After self-declaring the Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, IS started to lure people from different parts of the world into travelling to Syria to take part in the building process of their Islamic State, which is largely based on their ultraconservative views of Islam.

Many Europeans and Americans joined this radical group over the past couple of years, prompting the Western powers to form a coalition to battle IS in a bid to kill its ambition in its crib before imploding outward toward Europe and the US.

Still, the IS militants don't seem to tolerate those who abandon the "state", as the Observatory said that in the past three months, IS executed a total of 120 fighters of its own who wanted to abandon the group and return to their original countries.


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