Russian nationals can be among the 10,000 foreign terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with France Presse that was posted on the Russian foreign ministry’s website on Friday.
“Since it is often difficult to identify the nationality of foreign terrorists and militants, the Russian foreign ministry doesn’t have accurate information on this matter,” she said. “On our part, we can say that according to the data from the monitoring group of the UNSC sanction committees 1267/2253 and 1988, the number of foreign terrorists in the Syrian-Iraqi zone exceeds 10,000 people. We can assume that there are Russian nationals among them.”
According to the Russian diplomat, more than 340 minor Russians have been brought back to Russia from Syria and Iraq in recent years. “In recent years, as many as 341 underage Russian citizens have been repatriated from Syria and Iraq. Corresponding efforts are being taken under the auspices of the office of the Russian presidential children’s rights ombudsperson, with assistance from the Russian foreign ministry,” Zakharova noted.