The Non-Jihadi Foreign Fighters: Western Right-Wing and Left-Wing Extremists in Syria

Ariel Koch has published an article in "Terrorism and Political Violence," which examines the phenomenon of foreigners fighting in Syria against jihadist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

The ongoing war in Syria reflects the interesting phenomenon of foreigners flocking to the troubled region to join the combat. While foreign Jihadists joining the fighting ranks of terror organizations such as the Islamic State or Al Qaeda have attracted considerable reporting and research, the flip side of this phenomenon has gone largely unnoticed—that of the foreign anti-ISIS fighters. Although these fighters share a common enemy, adversary on the battlefield, they hold disparate personal ideologies and motives. This article will examine manifestations of foreign anti-ISIS fighters affiliated with both the far right and far left ideologies, in order to contribute to the understanding of this unfamiliar aspect of the war in Syria and its scope, as well as the potential consequences and potential threats it embodies.