The US and Turkish leaders voiced concern over foreign mercenaries involved in the ongoing armed conflict in Syria and expressed their support for Syrian opposition, the White House said in a statement.
“The [US] President and [Turkish] Prime Minister discussed the danger of foreign extremists in Syria and agreed on the importance of supporting a unified and inclusive Syrian opposition,” said the statement released following a telephone conversation between US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A recent study by experts at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy together with Flashpoint Global Partners, a terrorism research group, analyzed the national origins of 280 foreign fighters reported killed in Syria between July 2012 and May this year.
According to the report, most foreign fighters participating in the conflict have come from nearby countries as a result of the Arab Spring.
The study found that at least 17 fighters of Russian origin had been killed over that period, including 10 from the Muslim-populated North Caucasus regions.