Foreign Fighters Rethinking Their ISIS Allegiance
'Guardian' reports on a wave of desertions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2017 4:32 AM CDT
A wall is under construction to boost security at Turkey's border with Syria.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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(Newser) – ISIS is steadily losing territory in Iraq and Syria, and a lot of foreign fighters are apparently having second thoughts about fighting to the death for it. The Guardian reports that officials in Turkey and Europe say large numbers of foreign fighters are abandoning the group and trying to flee, especially now that an offensive is closing in on Raqqa, Syria, where many foreigners who joined the "caliphate" were based. Officials believe those fleeing include foreign fighters who have renounced the group, people who weren't fighters but found themselves living in ISIS territory, and hardcore militants suspected of planning terrorist attacks in their homelands.

Sources tell the Guardian that the latest foreigners to surrender to Turkish border police include a British couple and US citizen Kary Paul Kleman. A Turkish official confirmed to CNN that Kleman, a former Florida resident, was detained after arriving at the border with his Syrian wife and their three children. Authorities believe he "was compelled to escape the conflict zone following airstrikes and military operations against ISIS," the official says. Kleman's family says he converted to Islam after moving to the Middle East in 2011. They say he went to Syria in 2015 to help with humanitarian efforts but soon realized it was a "scam" and started trying to escape the country.

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