DAMASCUS – More than 2,400 Russian nationals have joined the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group in Syria and Iraq, Moscow revealed on Friday.
The First Deputy Director of Federal Security, Sergei Smirnov, said on Friday that of the 3,000 Central Asian nationals “at least 2,400 are Russians”.
Smirnov told reporters in Moscow that the ongoing influx of migrants into Europe “poses a potentially great threat to Russia”.
“The assertion that Moscow’s support negatively impacts the situation in Syria –and the flow of refugees in particular– is not true. This is due to the expansion of ISIS in the region,” Smirnov said.
The statements of the Russian official come days after TASS reported that at least 170 Russian members of ISIS have been killed during battles in Syria.
According to the CIA, some 30,000 militants drawn from over 80 countries are fighting for the ISIS extremist group, which controls large territory across Syria and Iraq.
Jihadists have joined ISIS coming from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, France, UK, Germany, Russia, Canada and the United States, among other countries.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
Source: ARA News, agencies
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