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Islamist extremists seek control of Syria amid unabated violence

Damascus , Mon, 23 Apr 2012 ANI

Damascus, Apr 23 (ANI): A number of Islamist extremists are seeking to take control of Syria, which is engulfed in its second year of revolution amid signs of a UN mandated ceasefire plan.

Activists and rebel soldiers in Syria have said that a growing number of Islamist radicals affiliated with global jihadi movements have been arriving in opposition strongholds and attempting to gain support from disaffected residents.

Western diplomats have said that they were tracking arrival of jihadists into Syria from Iraq, Washington Post reports.

The Jordan Government had detained at least four alleged Jordanian militants accused of trying to sneak into Syria to join the revolutionaries.

A previously unknown group calling itself the al-Nusra Front claimed responsibilities for bombings in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo.

Syrian activists and Western officials believed that the militants unifying goal was the ouster of the President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

U.S. officials and Western diplomats in the region have claimed that they have seen several indications that al-Qaeda-like groups have been trying to inject into the Syrian revolution.

The Syrian Government had facilitated the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq for many years, and there are widespread suspicions that it may be covertly reactivating some of those networks to discredit the revolutionaries, deter international support for the opposition and create conditions under which the harsh crackdown by authorities will appear justified.

Syrian activists and rebels insist that the extremists were not welcomed in their communities that had pride over its tolerance of the religious minorities in their midst, including Christians, Alawites, Druze, Kurds and Ismaili Shiites.

Many activists, however, fear that the influence of the extremists was growing as Syrian rebels who have for months appealed in vain for Western military intervention look for help elsewhere. (ANI)

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