Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has confirmed the infiltration of Islamic State terrorists among the multitude of migrants flocking into Europe from Syria.
In an interview on Czech television, Assad said that Europeans have legitimate cause to fear the wave of Syrian migration, since among the masses are agents of ISIS.
“It’s a mixture,” Assad said. “The majority, they are good Syrians, they are patriots. But of course you have infiltration of terrorists among them, that is true.”
Among the Islamic State terrorists who perpetrated the November 13 attacks in Paris were at least two Syrians who entered Europe among the multitude of migrants. One of the bombers entered Greece on October 3, falsely identifying himself as Ahmad al Muhammad, and from there made his way along the refugee circuit through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and finally into France where he blew himself up at the Stade de France.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrian migrants seeking asylum have already entered Europe this year, many of them without documents.
In a quid pro quo deal sealed on Sunday, Turkey has promised its help in checking the tide of Syrian migrants to Europe in exchange for cash, visas and renewed talks on joining the EU.
Meanwhile, of the 132 Syrian migrants welcomed into the United States since the November 13 Paris attacks, all have been Sunni Muslims. No Christians or members of other Syrian religious minorities have been admitted during this time, according to data from the State Department Refugee Processing Center.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome