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Families Fear Kyrgyz Sons Are Making Way To Syrian Battlefield

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

A Kyrgyz city on the outer edge of a restive Central Asian valley has found itself at the center of a broad controversy -- the prospect that some of its residents are being recruited to join the rebellion in Syria.

Kyzyl-Kiya ("Red Rock") is located in the country's southwestern Batken Province, on the southern edge of the Ferghana Valley.

A coal-mining center, the city has greatly suffered since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Poverty, coupled with a lack of adequate education and training, leaves residents with little choice but to leave for Russia or elsewhere to earn money for their families.

Now, as civil war rages in far-away Syria, questions are being raised over whether Kyzyl-Kiya residents are being recruited to take up arms with the rebels in the fight.

Sulaiman Mamatov says his son is among the young men who have allegedly headed for the battlefields of Syria, by way of Turkey.

Mamatov heads a middle-class, highly religious family. Despite opposition from his relatives, Mamatov agreed to speak briefly with RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.

To read the full story

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Families Fear Kyrgyz Sons Are Making Way To Syrian Battlefield

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