Thursday, May 16, 2013

Russia wary of attacks by rebels returning from Syria

Russia estimates that about 200 of its citizens are fighting alongside Syrian rebels and fears that they could carry out militant attacks once they return, the head of its main security agency said on Wednesday.

Russia has sold arms to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and lent him crucial diplomatic support during a conflict that has killed more than 80,000 people, but militants from Russia's mostly Muslim North Caucasus are fighting on the other side.

Once the war in Syria is over, foreign fighters returning home "will naturally pose a particular threat to their native countries," Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov said.