Syria names 142 slain foreign fighters from 18 countries
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS PhotoA Syrian newspaper on Tuesday published the names of 142 foreign fighters from 18 countries the regime says were killed alongside rebels in Syria's conflict.
Pro-regime Al-Watan published a list, which it said Damascus sent to the United Nations Security Council last month, that included Arab, North African, Central and South Asian "terrorists," giving the date and place of their death.
"Most are jihadists (radical Islamists) who belong to Al-Qaeda's network, or who joined it after arriving in Syria," the paper said, adding that they entered Syria via Turkey and Lebanon.
Among the 142 it named 47 Saudis, 24 Libyans, 10 Tunisians, nine Egyptians, six Qataris and five Lebanese.
It also listed 11 Afghans, five Turks, three Chechens, one Chadian and one Azerbaijani.
Most of the fighters were killed in October and November in the northern province of Aleppo, Homs in central Syria, the northwestern region of Idlib, Deir Ezzor in the east, and Hasakeh in the northeast, it said.
Damascus says foreign-backed "terrorists" are responsible for the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad that broke out in March 2011.
The violence in Syria has killed more than 40,000 people in 20 months, according to the Britain-based watchdog the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The uprising did not turn into an armed insurgency until several months after it erupted, following a severe regime crackdown.