You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Al Qaeda-linked rebels cause new refugee crisis for Syrians

- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2013

Syrians who once fled President Bashar Assad are now fleeing a new terror — al Qaeda-linked forces that have stolen into the nation to join the rebel force with an ultimate goal of imposing a hard line Islamic rule.

"We get killed now by two terrorist parties. Bashar and the ISIS," the Islamic State of the Levant, said Um Mohammed, in NBC. She said she fled to Turkey more from fear of the ISIS, which came to her home village, than of Mr. Assad. "I'm afraid of the ISIS. They prevented the teaching of girls in schools, imposed lengthening beards, banned smoking, playing music, loud laughter and asked the women to cover their faces."

Her views are mirrored by hundreds of others in the war torn nation, significantly adding the refugee crisis that had previously stemmed from fears of Mr. Assad's military, NBC reported.

And the influx of fighters tied to al Qaeda and hoping to use the instability in Syria to instill a radical Islamist-based rule is only growing worse, Jane's Defense Weekly reported. ISIS and similar groups have "expanded their influence significantly in 2013," Jane's said. The ensuing fallout has led hundreds to flee the country and join refugee camps on the Turkey border — especially women afraid of losing their freedoms and young men, concerned they'll be killed if they don't cave to the hard-line rule, NBC reported.

"The ISIS imposes duties on us all," said one 22-year-old man, known only as Mustafa in the NBC report. "Where are our rights? ... We are all against them. There is no difference between them and Bashar Assad."

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.