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Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:7PM
A group of militants in Syria (file photo)

A group of militants in Syria (file photo)

Tens of Chechen militants have left Britain for Turkey in order to join the militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. A group of 39 militants from Chechnya left London’s Heathrow airport last week for Istanbul to filter into Syria via the Turkish borders and join the foreign-backed militants in Syria, Fars News Agency reported. This comes as the Syrian government has repeatedly said that foreign-backed “terrorists” are responsible for the unrest in the country, which broke out last year, and that certain Arab and Western countries are fueling the violence. Recent reports revealed that the UK and the United States had organized training for hundreds of militants in Jordan on how to use light and heavy weapons including sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons. Earlier in November, Syrian newspaper Al Watan also published the names of 142 militants from 18 countries, who were killed while fighting against Syrian forces. The list included 47 Saudis, 24 Libyans, 10 Tunisians, 11 Afghans, nine Egyptians, six Qataris, five Lebanese, five Turks and a number of insurgents from Chad, Chechnya and Azerbaijan. Analysts believe that Chechnya wants to attract the support of Western states by sending terrorists into Syria while Russia has opposed the Western drive to oust Assad. Russia has been fighting militants since the mid-1990s in its North Caucasus region, where the republics of Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia have been the scene of sporadic attacks and militant clashes. Violence first broke out in Chechnya in 1994, when 250,000 people were forced to flee to neighboring territories because of a war between Chechen separatists and the Russian army. SSM/HSN/HE
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