UN says 4,000 foreign fighters in Syria, Iraq

Vienna, May 30 (IANS/AKI) At least 4,000 foreign fighters have travelled from European Union countries to fight IS and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq, the EU said in a new report on Monday citing data from 12 countries.

Of the foreign fighters, five to 10 per cent were killed in combat and between 10 and 30 per cent returned home from war zones or were in a transit country, the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights said in its 2016 report.

The greatest number of foreign fighters were from France (1,550) followed by Germany and Great Britain (700 each) and Belgium (440), the Vienna-based agency said.

A total of 80 foreign fighters were from Italy, said the report.

The figures did not specify how many foreign fighters joined the IS or al-Nusra Front compared to the numbers who joined Kurdish Peshmerga forces combatting these Sunni extremist groups, the agency said.



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