British militants make up the largest foreign contingent of a terrorist group fighting against the Syrian government, a commander of the country’s Western-sponsored opposition says.
In a letter to the British newspaper The Times on Monday, Brigadier General Abdulellah al-Basheer of the so-called Free Syrian Army said members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), most of whom are from the UK, are involved in brutal acts against the Syrian people.
He also noted that the ISIL militants are responsible for “beheadings, crucifixions, beatings, murders [and] outdated methods of treating women” in the Arab country.
Meanwhile, the commander of the anti-Damascus militancy group called on the British government to send weapons for combating the terrorist group.
He also warned that a failure to curb ISIL could lead to British militants returning home to “continue on their pernicious path of destruction”.
Earlier In February, Charles Farr, Britain’s chief anti-terrorism official, warned that the security threat from those militants operating inside Syria is now “the biggest challenge” facing the police and intelligence agencies.
UK intelligence sources told the Daily Telegraph in December last year that from among the 1,000 Westerners fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over 300 are British nationals.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly crisis since 2011. Several Western countries, including the UK, have played a major role in fanning the flames of turmoil in the Arab country by arming and training militants.