Terrorists among Syrian refugees arriving in Europe: Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says most of the Syrian refugees arriving in Europe are common people fleeing the foreign-backed militancy in their homeland, but there are a number of terrorists among them.
“It’s a mixture. The majority, they are good Syrians, they are patriots… But of course you have infiltration of terrorists among them,” Assad told Czech Television in an interview whose excerpts were broadcast on Monday.
According to Czech Television, the interview was conducted in the Syrian capital Damascus and will be aired in full on Tuesday.
Struggling to reach Europe, hundreds of thousands of Syrian asylum seekers travel from Turkey to Greece by boat. They then transit from Greece through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia to Austria, with the ultimate goal of reaching Germany and other wealthy Western European states.
The huge influx of refugees, often without documents, into Europe has sparked fears in many countries that Daesh Takfiri terrorists may be among them.
The November 13 attacks in Paris, claimed by Daesh, have heightened calls in the EU for more controls on the refugee arrivals. At least 130 people lost their lives in the coordinated terrorist attacks in the French capital.
Fingerprints taken from the attackers showed that two of them had entered Europe through Greece last month.
Following the Paris raids, there has been a stepped-up crackdown on refugees, who are fleeing violence fueled by Daesh terrorists and their supporters in Middle Eastern and African countries.
The crisis in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has so far claimed the lives of over 250,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s population of about 23 million within or out of its borders.