Russia says the ongoing turmoil in Syria is turning the Arab country into a center of attraction for ‘international terrorists.’
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, “Syria’s transformation into the center of gravity for international terrorists is becoming a reality.” It is a “frightening reality,” he added.
The Russian diplomat further reaffirmed Moscow’s support for a national dialogue to end the deadly violence in Syria.
“Russia will continue its efforts to speed up the resolution of the conflict in Syria,” Lukashevich said.
Russia has long accused the Western powers and their regional allies of using double standards by providing anti-Syria militant groups with financial support to purchase weapons while at the same time calling for talks.
A recent study by the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICRS) found that up to 5,500 foreign fighters had traveled to Syria since the crisis erupted more than two years ago.
The study also revealed that up to 11 percent of the militants came from Europe, mostly holding UK passports.
In November 2012, Damascus presented the UN Security Council with lists of hundreds of foreign nationals who had been killed during clashes with the Syrian army.
Many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the country since the violence broke out in March 2011.