Monitor: Islamic State wins new recruits in Syria after Obama speech

By REUTERS
September 17, 2014 14:39

 
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BEIRUT - Islamic State has won new recruits in Syria since President Barack Obama signaled last week that air strikes against the group will be expanded from Iraq to its strongholds in northern and eastern Syria, a group monitoring the war said on Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 162 people had joined Islamic State training camps in Aleppo province since Sept 10, when Obama said he would not hesitate to strike Islamic State in Syria.

The new recruits do not represent a big increase in the size of IS, which is estimated by intelligence agencies at 20,000 to 30,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq. But they do illustrate the risk that US-led efforts to crush Islamic State will end up winning it more followers.

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