Latest News Syria: European Union warns…

Belgium EU US Syria


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While Belgium is delivering weapons to the so called rebels and Free Syrian Army in Syria, the EU warns about threat of foreign fighters in Syria…


‘EU warns about threat of foreign fighters in Syria’

December 4, 2013

BRUSSELS — The European Union’s anti-terror chief will tell EU interior ministers on Thursday about the “major security threat” that the increase of foreign fighters in Syria poses.

A note for the meeting from the office of EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove stresses that numbers of fighters traveling back and forth from Syria is increasing.

The note, obtained by The Associated Press, specifically calls for better use of airline passenger information available to security officials to keep track of when and how rebels move to Syria.

Such legislation remains stuck in the European Parliament, and could remain there for months to come, considering the furor over the revelations from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden about wholesale data-mining of EU citizens.

The note does not name the number of fighters traveling from the 28-member EU to Syria.

But the 11 western European countries with the biggest contingents in Syria are estimated to have some 1,200-1,700 people among rebel forces, according to government and analyst figures compiled by the AP for a story published Tuesday. That compares to estimates of 600-800 from those countries in late spring.

Belgian Interior Minister Joelle Milquet organized an international gathering on the subject with a dozen counterparts on the eve of the EU meeting.

“We have to anticipate the returns (of fighters from Syria), the ways to handle this, the prevention measures and especially the exchange of information on the travels,” she said.

Last month, the head of Britain’s domestic spying agency said the intelligence service had seen “low hundreds of people” from Britain go to Syria and that some have since returned — stoking fears extremists could pose a domestic threat.

Some of them, said Britain’s counter-terror chief Helen Ball on Wednesday, “decided to get themselves trained to use weapons or build bombs and engage in fighting”.

“They are not some romantic freedom fighters,” Ball said.

EU interior ministers will also be looking at ways to cooperate more closely with Syria’s neighbor Turkey, through which most of the fighters move to get to the Syrian rebel camps.

“The EU should offer to assist Turkey in improving controls at borders and airports and should do more to help in preventing radicalization of individuals, especially in refugee camps,” the note said.

A senior EU official, who demanded anonymity because of a sensitivity of the issue, said that beyond the fighters from the 28-nation EU, there were also some 500 from Balkan nations, highlighting the contribution from small nations like Bosnia and Kosovo.

“Kosovo has 80 to 100 for 2 million people,” he said.

The official said the total number of EU fighters could be well above 1,000, bringing it roughly in line with the AP assessment.

The EU-based rebels are drawn by recruiters arranging travel and comfortable lodging. They instill militant Islam that EU security officials see as a potent threat once the fighters return home.

“There are cases where individuals continue traveling back and forth,” the note for the ministers said. Rebels are often seen as heroes to a small section of youths upon return, making them ideal to further foster recruitment.

Associated Press writer Cassandra Vinograd contributed to this report from London.

Read more here:

Photo 1: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers, left is welcomed by Belgium’s Interior Minister Joelle Milquet at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, Wednesday Dec. 4, 2013. Milquet organized a meeting with the interior ministers from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Australia, Canada and the U.S. to discuss the problem of foreign fighters in Syria and the impact on homeland security.

Photo 2 and 3: European Parliament – Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and president of the group ALDE promised weapons to the so called rebels and Free Syrian Army.


Verhofstadt: ‘EU should follow French and UK lead and rethink arms embargo on Syria’:


About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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4 Responses to Latest News Syria: European Union warns…

  1. kruitvat says:


    Syria Arms Embargo ‘Should Be Lifted’, William Hague To Tell Brussels

    The UK will push for the European Union’s arms embargo on Syria to be lifted to enable the potential supply of weapons to forces fighting against Bashar Assad’s regime.

    At a meeting in Brussels, William Hague will argue that there is a “compelling” case for easing the restrictions in order to strengthen the rebels’ position.

    The current embargo expires at the end of the month and Europe’s foreign ministers will attempt to thrash out a replacement package of measures, with the Foreign Secretary and France arguing for changes to allow the supply of arms to “moderate” rebels.

    But counterparts in other European nations are concerned about the danger of weapons falling into the wrong hands.

    In a statement to Parliament last week Mr Hague said: “The case for further amendments to the arms embargo on Syria is compelling, in order to increase the pressure on the regime, and to give us the flexibility to respond to continued radicalisation and conflict.

    “We have to be open to every way of strengthening moderates and saving lives rather than the current trajectory of extremism and murder.

    “We have not sent arms to any side during the conflicts of the Arab Spring. No decision has been made to go down this route, and if we were to pursue this, it would be under the following conditions: in co-ordination with other nations, in carefully controlled circumstances, and in accordance with our obligations under national and international law.”

    He said the UK and France were “strongly of the view” that changes were essential to ensure that the Assad regime takes forthcoming negotiations in Geneva seriously.

    “We must make clear that if the regime does not negotiate seriously at the Geneva conference, no option is off the table,” he warned.

    Reza Afshar, the head of the Foreign Office’s Syria team, wrote on Twitter that the EU faced a “strategic decision” today: “Give hope to political track on #Syria by amending arms embargo; or kill off political track.”

    Earlier this month a Syrian rebel commander was filmed biting into a dead soldier’s lung. The clip, which was verified by Human Rights Watch (HRW), showed Khalid al-Hamad (who is also known as Abu Sakkar) hacking into the man’s body and removing organs before raising the lung to his lips.

    He is heard saying: “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog,” to offscreen cheering.

  2. kruitvat says:

    July 2, 2013 – ‘The Saudi-Qatari Clash Over Syria’:
    Saudi Arabia and the United States are working closely together to bolster Syrian rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad, reviving in the process an earlier model of covert military cooperation from the 1980s that successfully drove the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan.

    U.S. military base in Qatar for operations in Afghanistan:

  3. kruitvat says:

    Europe militants in Syria pose threat to EU, allies

    December 5, 2013

    European nationals who fight alongside foreign-backed militants against Syrian government pose a potential threat to the European Union and its allies, France and Belgium say.

    On Thursday, Paris and Brussels also said up to 2,000 Europeans are now fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Middle Eastern country.

    Meanwhile, reports out of Syria say the number of foreign militants there is steadily on the rise.

    Foreign-backed militants usually sneak into the Arab country through the Turkish border.

    Turkish officials recently said they had deported 1,100 militants waiting to cross into its southern neighbor.

    Moreover, Western intelligence officials have warned that al-Qaeda-linked terrorists are establishing a base in Syria which threatens European countries.

    According to a report published by The New York Times on Tuesday, US officials say the situation may force Washington to take action by either striking the militants operating inside Syria or approaching the Syrian government.

    British intelligence sources say more than 300 Britons are now fighting against the government of President Assad in the Arab country.

    The Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism chief, Richard Walton, says there are indications that Britons fighting against the Syrian government are returning from the Middle Eastern country with orders to carry out attacks in European countries.

    Andrew Parker, head of Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5, said on November 7 that the UK intelligence service has “seen low hundreds of people from this country go to Syria for periods and come back – some large numbers are still there – and get involved in fighting.”

    “Syria has become a very attractive place for people to go…; those who support or sympathize with the al-Qaeda ideological message,” Parker added.

    In May, President Assad said militants from 29 different countries were operating in different parts of the country.

    According to statistics compiled by the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced due to the turmoil that erupted in Syria in March 2011.


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