Some 1,400 Saudi Arabian citizens have joined foreign-backed militant groups which are fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a report says.
Saudi Arabia’s newspaper Al Watan said in a recent report that most Saudi militants, who have poured into Syria after the outbreak of the crisis in 2011, are teenagers.
The report added that around 20 percent of the Saudi militants who have returned home say they had been deceived into fighting with the Syrian government.
In December 2013, the International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) released a report which indicated that between 3,300 and 11,000 militants from over 70 countries have been fighting against the Syrian government from late 2011 to December 10, 2013.
“These figures include those who are currently present (in Syria) as well as those who have since returned home, been arrested or killed,” said ICSR, which is a partnership of five universities based at King’s College London.
Eighty percent of the foreign militants are Arabs and Europeans, mostly from France and Britain, ICSR added.
According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are supporting the militants fighting in Syria since the deadly violence erupted in March 2011.
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