Thousands of Russian citizens have traveled to join the fight in Syria, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned in an interview with Israeli media on Saturday, suggesting that many would leave the war-torn country as “brainwashed” jihadi terrorists.
Speaking to Israel’s Channel 2, Medvedev said the ongoing civil war in Syria presented a number of clear dangers to the West – even after the conflict is finally ended.
Medvedev suggested that should the country remain divided and no strong central authority reasserted, Syria would be Balkanized, with large areas remaining hospitable breeding grounds for global jihadist terror factions.
"Is there a place for Bashar al-Assad or someone else, we don't know, this is not our business, let the Syrian people decide themselves. But what we definitely don't want is for Syria to disintegrate into a number of enclaves and sectors - like what happened in Libya - where as a result each sector would be controlled by separate terrorist groups. This would be very dangerous - for everyone."
The Russian Prime Minister also noted the large numbers of Russian citizens – mostly from within the nation’s Muslim population – who had traveled to Syria and become radicalized. Such individuals represent a particularly acute threat, said Medvedev, citing Russia’s experiences with terrorism emanating from the Caucasus region in the 1990s.
This article continues at [Israel National News] 'Large numbers of potential Russian jihadists to return'