Jordanian jihadist killed in Syria
A Jordanian jihadist has been killed by Syrian regime forces, Islamist sources revealed on Monday, amid a reported rise in militants traveling to Syria from Jordan to wage a "holy war" against Damascus, DPA reported.
According to a source within the Jordanian jihadist movement, 21-year-old Amman resident Abdoul Rahim Al Shawish was killed by gunfire on Sunday while fighting alongside Islamist militants near the southern Syrian city of Daraa.
The university student's death marked the ninth confirmed Jordanian jihadist casualty in Syria and the fifth in less than a month.
Jordanian jihadists claim that over 100 fighters crossed into Syria in October alone.
According to Abu Mohammed Al Tahawi, head of the northern branch of the Jordanian jihadist movement, some 250 Jordanian fighters are currently active in Syria, a number he expects to rise by "the hundreds" in the next few weeks.
"More and more young men are becoming convinced that it is their duty to protect the Syrian people and Muslim lands and honour, and we encourage them to answer this call," Al Tahawi told the dpa in a recent interview.
Islamist hardliners say the bulk of jihadists crossing into Syria from Jordan are joining forces with the so-called Jabha Al Nasreh As Sham - an al Qaeda-affiliated coalition of Arab Islamist militants that have been battling Syrian regime forces since June.
Jordanian officials have singled out the influx of fighters and arms into Syria as a direct threat to Jordan's national security, strengthening earlier this month its military forces along the Jordanian-Syrian border.
Earlier this month, Amman foiled an alleged al Qaeda plot targeting several Western diplomatic missions and shopping centres in Amman using automatic weapons, explosives and mortar rockets reportedly smuggled into Jordan from Syria.
The 11 suspects, all Jordanians, reportedly were members of the Jordanian jihadist movement with ties to al Qaeda in Iraq.