According to the Military Intelligence Section 5 (MI5), Syria continues to see foreign fighters flocking, in order to help the front lines fight with Al Qaeda in their bloody civil war. Volunteers now make up around 10 percent of rebel forces, and intelligence sources suggest that around 100 British citizens have joined their ranks.
One British volunteer in Northern Syria, stated on a vice documentary that the government was the one committing crimes, and that people must leave their government to take control and ultimately remove it. He said that soldiers and “normal folk” are the ones taking the blame for crimes committed, and that this is why people have an obligation to fight, in order to protect their honor and their women.
He later went on to question where the democracy or freedom of speech is. He said the promises to help the people of Syria have not been fulfilled, and instead Britain has allied with the enemies of Iran and America, and that the only way forward is to fight with weapons and restore the honor of Islam.
When a French volunteer was asked for his reasons for being here, he explained it in one simple term – for Jihad, meaning for the religious duty of Muslims. However, it is much more than just a holy war for believers. It is the internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as efficiently as possible, the struggle to build a good Muslim society, and also the struggle to defend Islam, with force is necessary.
As the Saudi Jihadist power grows, and Syria continues to see foreign fighters flocking to help front lines, so do allegations of violence. The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), have been accused of violating human rights by killing innocent children in Alawite villages, which included public beheadings and executions. The response by one member of a Saudi Jihadist group questioned, “Where were they when the children were starving to death in the arms of their mothers? Where were they when massacres were taking place in Qusair and other areas? Where were they when this happened? We strongly reject these accusations.”
The difference between Alawite and Sunnis in Syria is political rather than religious. The top positions in the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad’s army, are held by Alawite officers. Whereas the majority of rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), are from Syria’s Sunni majority.
When questioned about rumors that Saudi Jihadist members were bringing women from Egypt, France and other countries for their men to have sex with, the response was that they dared people to find evidence that the Mujahideen has had sex during this holy war.
The influx of foreign volunteers has made the process of relaying battlefield orders increasingly complex, because of the language barriers. The military have had to make sure of their access to interpreters, the main priorities English, Dutch, French and Russian. During clashes, the front line leader is made to communicate in the same language as his unit.
Syria continues to see foreign fighters flocking to help the front lines fight with Al Qaeda. They believe it is their duty to help other Mujahideen who struggle in their path of Allah. One in 10 foreign fighters in Syria is from Europe, and according to the Center for the Study of Radicalization at London King’s college, most British volunteers are in their twenties.
By Melissa McDonald