Amateur jihadis test Syrian rebel resources
Syrians' war to overthrow Assad seems to be drawing ever more fellow Arabs and other Muslims to the battlefield, many driven by a sense of duty to perform jihad. But while some are professional "jihadists", veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan, Chechnya or Libya, who bring combat and bomb-making skills, many of these foreigners have little to offer Syrians, and plenty have ended up floundering beyond their comfort zone.
Talal Mohammad is a long way from Tennessee, and he's well out of his depth. In an olive grove a few miles from the frontlines of Aleppo, he's at a loss to explain to a battle-hardened bunch of Syrian rebels what exactly this well-off, U.S.-trained Saudi dentist is doing there.
"Why have you come?" asked one of his new comrades, as they shared a meal in the twilight of a makeshift training camp. The man quickly adds, "Don't get us wrong. We appreciate your solidarity. But if you'd brought us money and weapons, that would have been much better."
Senior fighters around Aleppo say it is a common story. One who goes by the name Abu Mohammed said, "This week alone, I have welcomed to Syria two doctors, a lawyer, a karate trainer and a social worker from Britain."
Posted by: ryuge