Friday, September 26, 2014

More than 200 new recruits join Islamic State in Syria

(Reuters) More than 200 fighters have joined Islamic State in Syria's northern Aleppo province since US President Barack Obama said the United States would strike the militant group in Syria, a monitoring group said on Friday.

US-led forces launched air strikes on Syria on Tuesday, concentrating raids on the north and east to loosen Islamic State's grip on Syria's oil and its presence along the border with Iraq.

At least 162 people joined the radical al-Qaida offshoot in northeast and eastern Aleppo in the week after Obama's speech on Sept. 10, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers information on the conflict.

Islamic State has put particular pressure on rival insurgent groups in this part of Aleppo.

An additional 73 men had joined the group on Sept. 23 and 24 in the northeast Aleppo countryside since the start of the strikes, the Observatory said, bringing the total number since Sept. 10 to at least 235.