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21 Oct, 2019 08:27

Turkish op in Syria may lead to ‘reverse migration’ of terrorists to their homelands, Russian defense minister warns

Turkish op in Syria may lead to ‘reverse migration’ of terrorists to their homelands, Russian defense minister warns

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has warned of the danger of ‘reverse migration’ of foreign militants to their home countries from prisons and camps in Syria due to lax security in the area since Turkey began its operation.

Speaking at Beijing Xiangshan Forum, Shoigu said 12 jails holding Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) prisoners and eight camps containing their family members have been left unguarded since the beginning of Turkish operation ‘Peace Spring’ in the north of Syria. “This can lead to a surge of so-called reverse migration of terrorists back to their homeland,” he explained.

Minister Shoigu also outlined the sprawling territory for IS in Southeast Asia after the group had been mostly destroyed in Syria.

The leaders of quasi-state are declaring the inclusion of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and partly Thailand into their caliphate. Those militants who have been fighting in Syria are now coming back and forming the bone, the forward squad [of the quasi-state].

He cited terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka in April 2019 as an example of the revived threat in the region, which had been relatively dormant for several years. “High activity of extremist organizations is now registered in the region, around 60 of such have been designated as terrorist groups,” the minister added.

Also on rt.com Ankara confirms ‘pausing’ operation against Kurds in Syria, but says its goals stay unchanged

Turkey launched its cross-border operation on October 9, aiming to clear the region of Kurdish fighters. A five-day ceasefire was brokered on Thursday with Turkey agreeing to halt its operation if the Syrian Democratic Forces withdrew from northern Syria.

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