Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syria: Iran-Funded Militants Exceed ISIS Extremists in Numbers - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
Bahrain's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al KhalifaAsharq Al-Awsat

Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al KhalifaAsharq Al-Awsat

London- Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa confirmed that the grave danger of terrorist attacks – which don’t conform with Islamic teachings , values and humanitarian morals-await Gulf Cooperation Council GCC countries which have had their stability targeted, and were threatened by projected sectarian strife and division among citizens.

According to observing experts, terrorist groups existing in the Middle East have increased in numbers, the ambassador added. At least 220 groups are now active in Iraq. He highlighted the world-wide threat posed by armed and advanced militias joining terrorists, which are not being mentioned by media.

Ambassador Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a lecture he sponsored and hosted at his residence center in London last week. The seminar headlined threats imposed by terrorism and the aftermath on Sunni-Shi’ite extremism in the Middle East.

The ambassador told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that some wanted Bahrainis are still in Iran. He reiterated Bahrain’s absolute refusal of any interference in its internal affairs.

He added that extremism is recent to Bahrain, a country that long held democracy and reform as an administrative approach.

Accomplishments witnessed in domains of democracy, political reform, economic and human development prove that the adopted approach respects rights, fundamental freedoms, and objective separation of authorities. It reinforces popular contribution within the limits of governmental and institutional law.

No opposition can rapidly transform into a state of the art armed entity overnight.
The swift development has been introduced via acquired training in Iranian camps located in Iran and Iraq, he added.

The ambassador revealed that trials served over 98 people verdicts which were issued based on incriminating evidence and confessions on receiving training in Iran and exercising terrorist activity during the training period.

Phillip Smyth, a research associate at the University of Maryland and an adjunct fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, revealed that foreign Shi’ite fighters in Syria and Iraq today, which are funded by Iran, exceed the number of ISIS and al-Nusra Front extremists.

Most of the recruitment, according to Smyth, takes place in Iraq and Lebanon. Militia count has increased from 50 to 220 groups since 2011. Thousands of militants have joined battlefield in Syria today; eight thousand armed militants alone are accounted on behalf the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and an approximate three thousand five hundred fighters belong to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC.

Ambassador Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed held the role played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of great value for both the region and the GCC. He confirmed that Bahrain has welcomed the GCC’s decision classifying the Lebanon-based Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

In cooperation with GCC countries and coordination with Gulf security bodies, a list classifying terrorist organizations, terrorist and extremism funding or supporting groups has been established, Ambassador Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed added.