According to Kurdish officials, eight of the 22 ISIS fighters killed by recent coalition airstrikes in northern Iraq were German nationals. The airstrikes were conducted in the Aski Mosul region, west of the ISIS stronghold in Iraq, the city of Mosul. Kurdish forces were said to be involved in providing intelligence for the air campaign.
The Kurdish news service Rudaw reports a Kurdish official claiming, “one of the dead Germans was known as Abu Arqam, identified as a top foreign ISIS leader in Iraq.”
Haaretz relates the German security officials’s estimate that “about 600 people have left Germany to wage jihad or pledge allegiance to the Islamic State’s caliphate.”
International news channel i24 News cites a U.N. report, saying that “record numbers of foreign fighters from more than half of the world’s countries are joining Islamist and al-Qaida groups, mostly in Syria, Iraq and increasingly in Libya.”
The U.N. judges the flow of foreign fighters into armed conflicts to be “higher than it has ever been historically,” a stunning increase of 71 percent worldwide from 2014 to 2015.
“High numbers of foreign fighters are traveling from Tunisia, Morocco, France and Russia, but the report cited new flows of jihadists coming from the Maldives, Finland, Trinidad and Tobago as well as from some countries in sub-Saharan Africa,” writes i24 News, noting that the U.N. described Syria and Iraq as “a veritable finishing school” for jihadists. The U.N. encouraged member nations to step up their efforts to prevent citizens from joining foreign conflicts.