Al Qaeda driving exodus of Syrians

September 24, 2013 | By | Reply More

Sep 24, – Al Qaeda and its affiliates are forcing Syrians to flee to neighboring countries such as Turkey. Many of the refugees have harrowing stories to tell of how they escaped the clutches of the militant brigades.

hromedia - Al Qaeda driving exodus of SyriansDozens of Syrian refugees cluster night and day around the wooden picnic tables of a park on the outskirts of Urfa in Southern Turkey. Most of them come from the Syrian city of Raqqa and arrived only recently.

They’re part of the accelerating exodus that’s already driven 2 million civilians out of the war-torn country. One year ago, that number stood at below 250,000 according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Persistent air strikes by the regime and widespread shortages were bad enough, the refugees said. The takeover of their city by an al Qaeda group over the summer was the last straw.

“All Islamic now in Raqqa. All Islamic,” says Mohamed, a 23-year-old football player who traveled to Turkey with his family just three days earlier.

Located about 190 kilometers east of Aleppo, Raqqa became the only provincial capital fully controlled by the armed opposition in Syria in March. Six months later, a single radical group – Dawlat al-Islamiyya, the al-Qaeda brigade also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – is ruling the town.

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Category: Arab uprising

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