Conflict & Justice

Day 1,194: So many Westerners fighting in Syria


Israeli soldiers positioned near the Quneitra checkpoint on the border with Syria in the Golan Heights, June 22, 2014.



Today is Day 1,194 of the Syrian conflict.

The Israeli military says it has hit Syrian Army targets, following the killing of an Israeli teen in the Golan Heights on Sunday.

Meanwhile, late Sunday, the BBC reported that Syrian and rebel groups had agreed to a truce over the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, which houses thousands of Palestinians and which has received UN relief, including food, only sporadically since July due to the clashes. It is not yet known when the truce will take effect.

Concern over citizens of Western nations going to fight in Syria (and returning as terrorist threats) is growing. The Australian government is reportedly mulling new policies to combat the threat, concerned by “the fact that Australian citizens are heading to Iraq and Syria not only to fight but to take leadership roles in radicalizing others in these conflicts,” as Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Monday.

Meanwhile, in the UK, a former MI6 director has told the BBC that it would be “ ‘out of the question’ for the security services to follow all of the Britons who had fought in Syria if and when they returned.”

Finally, following a report last week stating that Syria’s Kurdish political party was using children in their armed wing (along with detaining people arbitrarily and possibly killing political opponents), Human Rights Watch has released a report delving more extensively into the issue of child soldiers in Syria. It includes the stories of 25 children who have fought among opposition groups in the country.

The conflict continues.