Turkey says approximately 500 Turkish citizens have joined the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorists fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
According to a recent report published by Turkey’s Interior Ministry, some of these citizens have received training in al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported on Tuesday.
The report, which was based on data obtained from the National Intelligence Organization and the National Police Department, further noted that scores of Turkish citizens fighting with the militant groups in Syria have been killed during the clashes between the foreign-backed militants and government forces in the Arab country.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.
The UN recently warned against the humanitarian situation in Syria, saying that over nine million people are in need of urgent aid due to the crisis in the Middle Eastern country