First batch of fighters reaches Syria, confirms Pakistani Taliban

Published July 16, 2013
120 more fighters are on their way to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a key TTP commander told Dawn.com.
120 more fighters are on their way to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a key TTP commander told Dawn.com.

PESHAWAR: The first of batch of Pakistani Taliban fighters has reached Syria and has established a command and control center to launch operational activities alongside Syrian rebels against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

A key commander of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Abdul Rashid Abbasi, confirmed the developments while speaking to Dawn.com on Monday. He also confirmed that “another batch of 120 to 150 fighters is on its way from different routes and will reach Syrian cities this week to join the force.”

“We shall be sending more volunteers, but can not give the exact numbers at this moment. We will provide whatever support is needed by our Syrian brothers,” Abbasi remarked.

A close associate of Taliban Amir (Chief) Hakeemullah Mehsud, confirming establishment of the Syrian base, said the TTT fighters had been sent upon the request of al Qaeda’s operational commander in Syria, Abu Omar Baghdadi.

He said Baghdadi had requested the Pakistani Taliban “to be part of a global jihad against the tyrant Syrian regime and we have agreed to send the fighters.”

The aide, who did not wish to be named, said: “Yes, the TTP has a global agenda of fighting jihad against the infidels and this movement of sending fighters is part of that spirit.”

“The Arabs had been here to support us against the Russians and the Americans and now we are going there to support them.”

The Pakistani Taliban have also asked its local chapters in Mohmand, Bajaur, Khyber, Orakzai and Waziristan Agencies to recruit fresh fighters who are willing to go to Syrian mission. Many of the youngsters have reportedly started registering their names to go on the foreign mission.

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