Syria conflict: British women are fighting with rebels
Friday 25 April 2014
Ten women from the UK are believed to have gone to fight against President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, according to an expert.
Two teenagers from Portsmouth, a Surrey woman, two Londoners and five others from cities across the north of England have reportedly joined rebel fighters in the war-torn country.
The news comes after the Metropolitan Police appealed to women to inform on male relatives planning to go to Syria to fight.
Shiraz Maher, head of outreach at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Kings College London, told the Mirror newspaper: “Most British jihadists go to Syria for sincere reasons to help in what they believe is a struggle against oppression but many don’t appreciate the reality on the ground.
“There are around 10 British women out there, we believe, and most have travelled to Syria with their husbands.
“They go believing they will fight jihad to overthrow Assad but may actually be getting in the way of the rebellion by joining groups and fuelling the infighting they are involved in.”
He warned that some of the volunteers might find themselves with groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has clashed with other rebel groups.
“Depending on who they sign up with, like ISIS, they will end up fighting some of the original rebel groups such as the Free Syrian Army. There is evidence that in the complex struggles ISIS in particular has been infiltrated by Assad’s forces,” the academic said.
On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police’s deputy assistant commissioner, Helen Ball, said the force wanted to “ensure that people, particularly women, who are concerned about their loved ones [going to Syria to fight] are given enough information about what they can do to prevent this from happening”.
“This is not about criminalising people. It is about preventing tragedies,” she added.
It is thought about 600 British people have gone to fight in Syria since the conflict began three years ago with more than 300 returning. About 20 are believed to have been killed.
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£1036224 - £1513056 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Educatio...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Are you a fully quali...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...