UNITED NATIONS - More and more Syrian rebels are defecting to join the ultra-hardline Islamic State insurgency, said UN human rights investigators on Friday, in what they described as a "Syrian-ization" of the al-Qaeda offshoot.
Members of the independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, set up by the UN Human Rights Council in September 2011, informally briefed the United Nations Security Council on Friday ahead of submitting their latest report next week.
"What began with a lot of foreign fighters, now you have authentic Syrian citizens," Pinheiro told reporters. "We are seeing more Syrians coming to ISIS than before."
After a successful offensive in Iraq, the Islamic State last month declared an "Islamic caliphate" in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria and vowed to expand.