MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – As the United States is bringing together nations to combat the Islamic State (IS) threat, the jihadist group is gaining more support worldwide, recent reports show.
Some 1,000 volunteers from the Asia-Pacific region may have joined the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Navy Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of Pacific Command of the American forces, told reporters Thursday.
The US military commander did not specify nationals of which countries have joined the militants but stressed that the number may further grow.
Norway’s The Local reported on Wednesday that some 10 Norwegian children have traveled to Syria to assist the Islamic State (IS) in their fight .
Earlier this month, Germany stated that hundreds of its nationals had moved to Syria to fight alongside the IS militants in Syria and Iraq. According to the head of the German intelligence service BVF Georg Maassen, tens of children were among the travelers.
According to the estimates by Russia's Security Council, the number of IS militants may be as high as 50,000 people and it continues to grow, as the supporters of radical Islam from Europe, United States and CIS leave their countries to join the group.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against the Syrian government since 2012. In 2014, IS militants spread through northern and western Iraq as well and declared a caliphate on the territories under its control.
Earlier in September, the United States announced the formation of an international coalition to combat the insurgents. Washington and its allies have carried out a number of airstrikes on IS position both in Syria and Iraq.