Israeli Study of Foreign Fighters in Syria Suggests Shiites May Outnumber Sunnis

(Washington Post) William Booth - A group of former military intelligence analysts in Israel have produced new estimates of the growing phenomenon of foreign fighters waging civil war in Syria. According to the study released this week by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center in Tel Aviv, there are currently 6,000 to 7,000 Sunni foreign fighters in Syria battling President Assad. The number of Shiite foreigners fighting on Assad's behalf is estimated at 7,000 to 8,000. Experts say that, far more than Afghanistan or Iraq in decades past, Syria's rebel movement is drawing thousands of young men to fight. Why? "Because it is cheap, and it is easy," said Reuven Erlich, director of the center. "You can make jihad for the price of a plane ticket to Istanbul." The Israelis estimate that 500 to 700 foreign fighters have been killed in Syria. In 2013 there were at least 16 suicide bomb attacks carried out by foreign fighters from Jordan or Saudi Arabia.

2014-01-03 00:00:00

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