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The Guardian has a fairly good article today about al-Qaida recruitment efforts in Turkey.

I have seen these people in action. They use a range of vile methods to fool young men, and sometimes women, in Turkey into going to Syria to join al-Qaida and al-Qaida related groups there, where they usually end up as cannon fodder.

Unfortunately these groups have had some success in Turkey and been able to recruit probably one or two thousand young people from Turkey during the past 30 months.

But I have also noticed that there has been a growing backlash against these groups' efforts as their true character has become more and more evident to those they are trying to fool.

The sons feared lost to al-Qaida in Syria

Parents in Turkish town of Adiyaman tell of anguish of searching for offspring recruited for jihad in neighbouring country

Fatih Yildiz never thought that one day he would have to plead with al-Qaida commander for the lives of his two sons. After a frantic week of searching for them in the blasted ruins of northern Syria, the retired Turkish government official was at his wit's end.

"I swear, if I had had a gun I would have shot that man," Yildiz told the Guardian.

The problem was that the commander – a fellow Turk from Trabzon on the Black Sea coast – could not understand why he wanted his sons back.

"They are here to be martyred," the jihadi leader yelled at Yildiz, who had tracked down his sons to a training camp near Aleppo. "Are you an infidel to try and take that from them? They will be rewarded in paradise."


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 12:24:28 PM PST

  •  Also some truly excellent reporting by McClatchy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, AoT, mookins

    about how the bottomless brutality of Assad's military is overwhelming some rebel strongholds:

    Battle for strategic Syrian town shows why war has displaced millions
    McClatchy Foreign Staff
    November 11, 2013
    [...] The spotlight never touched on Ariha, south of Idlib, even after Sept. 3, when Syrian state media announced that the government had “cleansed” the town of “terrorist gangs.” But the two-week battle helps illuminate why Syria’s civil war has created such a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

    To “cleanse” the town, government helicopters dumped dozens of “barrel bombs” – improvised explosive devices filled with shrapnel and varying in size from a large pipe to a garbage Dumpster – on houses and shops, multiple witnesses told McClatchy. Tanks and howitzers fired into the town, and the army also fired mortars, gravity bombs, vacuum bombs and cluster bombs.

    Outgunned and low on ammunition, the rebels gave up.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 12:43:42 PM PST

    •  plenty of bottomless brutality (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya, AoT, Pluto, Lepanto, JesseCW, Aunt Martha

      on all sides, thank you very much.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 12:47:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My information is that the town was mostly (10+ / 0-)

      deserted, as is most of the rebel held areas around Idlib.

      The article says that the town's 70,000 residents were in the town during the government offensive. That is very doubtful to me.

      And saying that many fled to Turkey during that period is simply not true. There was not an influx of Syrians into Turkey during that period.

      McClatchy often does good reporting but this article to me smells of heavy rebel propaganda.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:04:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't understand why this is supposed to be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, mookins, InAntalya

      somehow more horrific than US airstrikes on rebel held towns in Afghanistan or Iraq.

      If bombs are primitive, they're more "brutal" or something?

      The use of cluster munitions needs to be treated as a war crime, but there's no chance that will ever apply to our forces.

      I just can't see why the author of the piece you cite seems to think we're supposed to be more horrified by a town being bombed if the bomb is improvised out of a dumpster.  The strong implication is that there would somehow not be a refugee crisis if they were using good ol'fashioned pointy nosed purpose built iron bombs.

      "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 03:25:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's rather sad to me that as soon as (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, JesseCW, Simplify, mookins

    the US stopped threatening to bomb Syria everyone has simply dropped the subject. I have friends who were in Syria a few years ago, just before the protests broke out. The big problem that I've heard of is that the local groups who are the "good guys" are regional based and don't move around much.

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