The Pakistani Taliban have set up a base in Syria to join foreign-sponsored militants in their fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, a report says.
A senior Taliban commander said that the base was established by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with the help of former Afghan fighters of Middle Eastern origin who moved to Syria in recent years, the state-run BBC reported on Friday.
Mohammad Amin, a Taliban operative and “coordinator of the Syrian base,” said some 12 warfare and information technology experts had travelled to Syria during the past two months to assess the situation in the Arab country.
He claimed that the cell in Syria was set up six months ago, adding that it sends “information and feedback” on the crisis.
“They were facilitated by our friends in Syria who have previously been fighting in Afghanistan,” Amin added.
Their task is to assess the needs of the militants in Syria, and to work out joint operations.
“There are dozens of Pakistani hopefuls in line to join the fighting against the Syrian Army, but the advice we are getting at the moment is that there’s already enough manpower in Syria.”
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 90,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence.
Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
The Syrian government says the West and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants.
The Syrian troops have recently conducted successful clean-up operations across the country, inflicting heavy losses on Takfiri extremists.
The Syrian Army’s push against the militants rattled their foreign sponsors.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said on June 26 that Saudi Arabia is trembling with fear because of the Syrian Army’s recent successes against the militants.
In a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal insisted on June 25 that the militants in Syria must be armed with anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.
Zoubi said that the Saudi weapons and money is the main reason behind bloodshed in Syria, adding that Faisal “is lost in the Syrian blood.”