Syrian Insurgents Announce „Martyrdom Brigade“

by Florian Flade

The footage seems oddly similar to what was released from Iraq in 2003 soon after the American invasion. Masked gunmen posing with their weapons in front of an Al-Qaida flag. But this is not the scene of a Iraqi Al-Qaida video – it is recent footage coming out of Syria.

A group of the so-called „Free Syrian Army“ in the occupied city fo Homs has – according to the new video – formed a martyrdom battalion, a special unit committed to carry out suicide bombings in the country.

One Syrian militant explains that the „Al-Baraa Ibn Malik Martyrdom Brigade“ will fight the Assad regime and its military with all needs, especially suicide bombers.

The video emerges just days after U.S. officials claim Al-Qaida does and will play a bigger role in the Syrian insurgency. According to U.S. intelligence officials Al-Qaida militants from Iraq have infiltrated the Syrian resistance and are now fighting against the Syrian regime. Some of the opposition groups are not even aware of the Jihadi militants amongst them, the U.S. intelligence analysts are stating.

Al-Qaida in Iraq (officially „Islamic State of Iraq“) is suspected of being the mastermind of recent suicide bombings inside Syria, the U.S. claims.

Other media reports seem to confirm the U.S. analysis of Al-Qaida infiltrating the Syrian insurgency. Weapons from Iraq are allegedly being sold back to Syria by the Iraqi Jihadi groups. The price of these arms has doubled or even tripled in recent weeks. An AK-47 assault rifle is available for the price of 1400 $-US, before it was as low as 400 to 500 US-$.

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