Tunisians call for resumption of ties with Syria

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Tunisians call for resumption of ties with Syria

People in Tunisia have taken to the streets calling for the resumption of diplomatic ties with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Press TV reports: On Saturday, the protesters also demanded a crackdown on groups involved in the recruitment of Tunisian citizens to join the militants who are fighting against the Syrian government.

Tunis severed ties with Damascus over three years ago when the conflict began in the Middle Eastern country.

Since then, more than 3000 Tunisian youngsters have joined the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Syria and its neighbor Iraq. Many of them have been killed in the fighting.

Earlier this year, Tunisia’s interior minister confirmed reports that almost 400 Takfiri extremists have returned from fighting in Syria. The confirmation sparked fears that the Takfiris could trigger violence in the country.

“We have managed to prevent nearly 8,000 people from going to Syria,” said Lotfi Ben Jeddou.

“We don’t have exact figures for those who have returned, but they are estimated to number around 400,” he added.

According to a report by the UN Security Council, 15,000 people have flocked to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside extremist groups such as the ISIL.

The report added that the militants come from more than 80 countries.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. According to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, more than 200,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict since March 2011.

Niamh Harris
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