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Syria war brings al-Qaeda threat to Iraqi Kurdistan

The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq seeks to prevent the spillover of the war inside its borders.
A woman stands beside the coffin of a Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) soldier who died fighting the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra in Qamishli November 14, 2013. Picture taken November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Massoud Mohammed (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTX15H58
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WASHINGTON — Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has asked the Kurdish government to form a committee to investigate Kurdish jihadists going to Syria for jihad. The KRG is facing the same problem as other European countries: Jihad in Syria has not only brought al-Qaeda to Europe’s doorstep but also to that of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, as shown by an attack in Erbil on Sept. 26.

There were reports indicating that several Kurdish Islamist fighters were recruited in mosques in the province of Sulaimaniyah. The Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) captured several Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan in Syria, and in July Kurdish TV broadcast an interview with three captured Kurdish Islamic fighters. Most of the Kurdish Islamist fighters came from Islamist strongholds inside the province of Sulaimaniyah, close to the Iranian border. 

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