Foreign fighters in Syria still remain a small fraction of the opposition

The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation: We estimate that – from late 2011 to 10 December 2013 – between 3,300 and 11,000 individuals have gone to Syria to fight against the Assad government. These figures include those who are currently present as well as those who have since returned home, been arrested or killed.

Based on the credibility of various sources, our own judgement, and the feedback we have received since publishing our April estimate, we believe the “true” figure to be above 8,500. This would mean that the numbers have nearly doubled since April, with a particularly steep increase among non-Arabs, especially Westerners.

While Arabs and Europeans continue to represent the bulk of foreign fighters (up to 80 per cent), we have identified individuals from Southeast Asia, North America, Australia, and (non-Arab) Africa. Overall, we believe that residents and citizens from at least 74 countries have joined militant opposition groups in Syria. [Continue reading…]

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