From Arab News, “Syria Training Iraq-Bound Fighters: Jordan Officials,” with thanks to Skeet Street.
AMMAN “” Muslim militants are increasingly using Syria as a clandestine haven for fighters heading to Iraq, Jordanian officials said yesterday, adding that they had no proof the Damascus government condoned such activities. Security officials in US ally Jordan said interrogations of 12 Jordanian fighters arrested this year had revealed links with Syrian Islamists promoting jihad (holy war) in Iraq.
“We are finding that many of these people are getting help from Syrian radicals who are helping them to undergo training and (get) financing and even equipment like explosives detonators they smuggle back to Jordan or use in Iraq,” said one official.
Officials and security sources say they have no evidence the networks were operating with the consent of Syria’s secular Baathist government, which battled Sunni Muslim radicals in the 1980s and has cracked down on similar groups in recent months. Damascus has repeatedly denied US charges that it allows militants battling US forces in Iraq to use its territory as a staging ground.
The Jordanian officials say young Arab fighters in Iraq were developing strong bonds among each other that helped them recruit more fighters in their countries of origin. “They meet in Iraq and those who return home cement their ties with their associates in other Arab countries and draw others back to Iraq,” one security official said…