400 Germans join ISIL in Syria, Iraq: Merkel
Chancellor Angela Merkel has estimated that at least 400 German citizens are fighting alongside the ISIL militants in Syria and Iraq.
The ISIL has “about 20,000 fighters according to our estimates, 2,000 of them from Europe… of whom probably 400 are from Germany,” Merkel said on Wednesday.
She added that her country will decide on Sunday about sending military aid to Kurdish forces fighting against the ISIL Takfiris in Iraq.
“So we can’t just say it has nothing to do with us – we are implicated,” Merkel said.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also said that Berlin should provide military supplies to the Kurds “so they can fight and prevent ISIL from taking over the whole region and creating a caliphate.”
“The German government has not reached a decision yet today but I believe that a decision should be made on Sunday on concretely what should be supplied,” said the German minister.
The United States and European states are concerned that the Western militants fighting in Iraq and Syria would pose a security threat once they decide to return to their countries.
Iraq has faced brutal violence by the ISIL across the country’s north and west since early June. The crisis has deteriorated in recent weeks, as the militants have swept over new towns in the north, forcing members of the minorities out of their homes.
They have been committing heinous crimes in the areas they have taken, including the mass execution of civilians as well as Iraqi army troops and officers.
The Iraqi army backed by thousands of volunteers and Kurdish forces are engaged in fierce fighting with the ISIL militants to push them out of the captured areas.