UN Report: Over 20,000 Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Nations Have Become Destination for Mass of Fighters

A new UN report on militants traveling abroad from their home countries to fight has determined that some 25,000 Islamists from 100 nations have gone overseas to fight for either al-Qaeda or ISIS.

That’s the worldwide toll, but the more jarring figure was that over 20,000 of the fighters have gone to either Iraq or Syria, making the two nations the destination of choice for the overwhelming majority.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the figures are large, as foreign fighters going to Iraq and Syria have become a huge story for months, but the UN report noted the worldwide figure was but a few thousand just a decade ago.

The number of fighters is soaring everywhere, but the overall figure is likely to be difficult to ascertain, with the exact number of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria hard enough to figure, and the influx into places like Libya even more difficult to reckon.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.