Israeli Report: Thousands of Chinese Jihadists Are Fighting in Syria

(Ynet News) Itamar Eichner - A report by the Israel Foreign Ministry found that thousands of Chinese Muslims are fighting in the ranks of jihadi organizations in Syria. China is very concerned about their return and their influence on the security of its citizens and its worldwide interests. The report stated, "The arrival of tens of thousands of Chinese citizens fighting and living in the country raises the need for monitoring them. China is interested in as much data that can be collected on them, and it is our understanding that they would prefer to liquidate them on Syrian soil, in order to prevent their return to their region." The Chinese who fight in Syria are members of the Muslim Uyghur minority. According to the Israeli report, the Chinese have made great efforts to stop the illegal departure of Uyghurs, blocking the shortest route through Pakistan. Thanks to their Turkish origin, Turkey helps those who want to reach its territory. The report says 3,000 Uyghurs are fighting in the ranks of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the al-Qaeda branch in Syria (formerly known as the al-Nursa Front), and several hundred fighters are in ISIS. China estimates the total number of fighters to be 5,000. Many Uyghur families have settled in villages in Syria. "The main threat to China is not the return of Uyghurs to China, but rather the activities of Uyghur terrorists operating against Chinese targets outside China."

2017-03-31 00:00:00

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