Yemen Is Sending Thousands Of Young Men To Fight With Al-Qaeda In Syria


Photo: AP

Recruited by Islamist leaders and financed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, more than 5,000 young men have traveled to Turkey over the last four months to fight with al-Qaeda in Syria, Yemeni journalist Nasser Arrabyee reports.As of October, Turkish Airlines offers four flights per week from the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sanaa to Istanbul, and this week Yemen President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi approved a bilateral agreement cancelling entry visas between Yemen and Turkey.

The reports corroborate claims that the Syrian conflict has mutated into a sectarian war with rebels relying on a steady stream of foreign fighters.

The revelations also muddy the picture in Yemen, where the U.S. is operating a covert drone war against suspected terrorists and Iran is sending weapons to armed groups

From Arrabyee:

When asked why, the Yemeni government ignores this issue by saying as long as  they are more than 18 years old and they are not wanted for security, no one can stop them from going wherever they like.

Doug Pologe of Middle East Insights notes that the primary concern with this is that “these guys gain experience which is brought back home, as well as put to use in other locations later on.”

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