According to a study conducted by the British institute for defense, IHS Jane’s, in September and published by the UK Daily Telegraph last week, nearly half of mercenaries in Syria are hard-line militants.
According to a study conducted by the British institute for defense, IHS Jane's, in September and published by the UK Daily Telegraph last week, nearly half of mercenaries in Syria are hard-line militants.
According to the British newspaper, the study showed that the number of insurgents fighting against the Syrian army is estimated at about 100 thousand gunmen distributed to about a thousand armed band, who came from 83 countries, including all Arab countries except Djibouti.
Estimates by IHP Jane's' experts revealed that ten thousand of these gunmen fight to the side of Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, and 30,000 to 35,000 other insurgents are fighting within other hard-line armed groups.
"There are also at least a further 30,000 moderates belonging to groups that have an Islamic character, meaning only a small minority of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups," the daily noted.
Charles Lister, author of the analysis, said: "The insurgency is now dominated by groups which have at least an Islamist viewpoint on the conflict. The idea that it is mostly secular groups leading the opposition is just not borne out."
The Daily Telegraph pointed out that the study is based on interviews with militants and intelligence estimates.