Syrian conflict mobilizes hundreds of fighters from Europe: study

Hundreds of Europeans have traveled to Syria to engage in the fight against President Bashar al-Assad, a year-long study by the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization has found.

The study, entitled “European foreign fighters in Syria,” was released on Tuesday, and put the figure at up to 600 individuals from 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Sweden and Germany.

Dr. Peter Neumann of King’s College London, lead researcher on the project, said the remaining contingent was made up of fighters from the wider Middle East, who traveled to the country to join forces with the opposition.

Estimates are based on freely available information from more than 450 open sources in the Western and Arab media, as well as the martyrdom notices that have been posted in jihadist online forums.

“It’s very difficult to ascertain, with certainty, the exact numbers of fighters who travel from Europe to Syria. The figure of 600 is the top end of the estimate,” the lower end is 150, Neumann told Al Arabiya

Saffiya Ansari

Al Arabiya, United Arab Emirates

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