The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that new fighters have joined the Islamic State (IS) since the American president Barack Obama declared last week his intention to extend the air raids against the organization to include its strongholds in the north and east of Syria.
The Observatory said that 162 persons joined IS training camps in Aleppo since 10 September, when Obama declared he will not hesitate in attacking the Islamic State in Syria.
The new volunteers don’t form a major increase in the number of IS fighters, as intelligence agencies estimate that the number of IS fighters in Syria and Iraq range between 20,000-30,000 but the numbers could indicate that the organization may gain more supporters after the United States decided to attack it.
The director of the Observatory, Rami Abdul Rahman, said the main bases of IS are in the north and east of Syria, specifically in Raqqa and Deir-ez Zor governorates on the Syrian border with Iraq.
IS has advanced to the west of Syria in August and it was able to occupy new lands and strategic points, where the new volunteers joined the training camps of the organization.
The Observatory – which collects information from all over Syria – said the estimated number of IS fighters in Syria is more than 50,000.
Four of the new volunteers are Australian citizens, fifteen others are from Arab countries who entered Syria through Turkey, while the rest are Syrians. Most of them have previously fought before beside the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, according to the Observatory.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer