Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Al-Qaida insurgents entering Syria: Iraq

  • Print

BEIRUT -- Iraq said Thursday al-Qaida insurgents are leaving the country to carry out attacks in Syria, as the Syrian conflict inflames an already volatile region.

Extremists, taking advantage of the chaos and violence gripping Syria, have reportedly been making inroads as the 16-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad grinds on. The head of the Syrian UN observer mission said Thursday violence in the country had reached "unprecedented levels."

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zeba-ri said authorities are worried extremists could gain a foothold in Syria, posing a new threat to regional stability.

"We have solid information and intelligence that members of al-Qaida's terrorist network have gone to Syria," he said. He didn't provide details.

In February, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to join the Syrian uprising, which began in March 2011 with mass protests inspired by the Arab Spring, then grew into a bloody insurgency as the opposition took up arms to fight a fierce government crackdown.

Rebel fighters have launched increasingly deadly attacks on regime targets, and several suicide bombings have born the hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Activists say more than 14,000 people have been killed since the revolt began. Media restrictions make it difficult to gain a credible account of events.

Meanwhile, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other opposition websites said Thursday Syrian Brig.-Gen. Manaf Tlass -- a member of the elite Republican Guards and son of a former defence minister -- reportedly had defected and fled to Turkey.

Also Thursday, Wikileaks said it was in the process of publishing material from 2.4 million Syrian emails -- many of which came from official government accounts, it said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2012 A20

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman pledges increased support for arts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Down the Hatch- A pelican swallows a fresh fish that it caught on the Red River near Lockport, Manitoba. Wednesday morning- May 01, 2013   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Jets' three pre-season losses in a row are a sign of things to come?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google