Around 6,300 fighters joined IS in Syria in July

Beirut : Around 6,300 fighters joined the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Syria in July, a month after the jihadi organisation proclaimed an Islamic caliphate in the territories it controls in Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported Wednesday.

Among the new fighters, 5,000 were Syrians and 1,300 foreigners from Arab countries, Europe and Asia.

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The Syrian combatants included 800 fighters from other Islamic factions.

About 1,100 of the foreign fighters were new arrivals in Syria, where they entered mostly through the Turkish border, while the other 200 had already been fighting on Syrian soil with other groups such as the Nusra Front, a subsidiary of the Al Qaeda.

July is the month in which the IS has done more recruiting on Syrian territory since it began operating in the country in April 2013.

The SOHR did not provide data for August, but added that, since last week, 162 people have joined the IS in Syria, including 15 foreigners (of them four Australians).

The new recruitment drive came after US President Barack Obama announced Sep 11 that he would intensify the offensive on the IS in Iraq and extend it to Syria.

On June 29, the IS proclaimed a caliphate stretching from the Syrian province of Aleppo to Diyala in Iraq.