Syrian Envoy: Up to 5,000 Chinese Uighurs Fighting in Syria

Says China Should Be Concerned About Ultimate Return of Militants

From the start of the Syrian Civil War, the Islamist rebel factions have been building massive numbers around the recruitment of foreign fighters. This has been a large concern, particularly in Western Europe, where nations fear the thousands of jihadists are eventually going to return home with new military kills and ties to international terrorist groups.

Syrian Ambassador to China thinks that the Beijing government has missed their own problem with all of this, warning that there are estimates that up to 5,000 Chinese Uighurs are fighting in Syria for the assorted Islamist militant factions.

China’s government has had ongoing problems with the Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, with locals having serious secessionist ambitions, particularly as more ethnic Hans relocate to the region it s increasing sectarian and ethnic tensions.

Chinese officials have long expressed concern about the growth of terror from the region, and the possibility of those factions getting ties with international terror. As with other nations’ Islamists, China’s may well be finding Syria is the perfect place to make such contacts.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.