Foreign fighters stream into Syria: US officials

Smoke rises from an explosion in the Syrian town of Kobane after a US-led coalition air strike, as seen from the Turkish border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on October 18, 2014Foreign fighters are streaming into Syria at a rate of roughly 1,000 a month, with no let-up in the flow despite international efforts to stem the tide, US officials said Friday. The surge in foreign militants heading to Syria surpasses anything seen in previous conflicts in the past 10 years, including wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia or elsewhere, said a US intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. US intelligence agencies now believe there are more than 16,000 volunteers from 80 countries that have traveled to Syria to fight with various militant groups, including the Islamic State jihadists who have seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. There was no sign yet that US-led air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq or new restrictions aimed at foreign volunteers in several countries had affected the flow, officials said.

Share this article