A table on Western fighters in Syria

Here is a table of the most up-to-date estimates of the numbers of Westerners who have fought, and died, in the Syrian insurgency.

The table provides minimum and maximum estimates on the number of fighters from each Western country (‘Western’ used here to mean Europe, North America and Australia) and the numbers of death notices appearing in jihadist media outlets.

The data in this table is not my own, but comes from two recent reports by Aaron Y Zelin. I’ve combined tables of his together to create this larger table, so be sure to credit him if you use any of these figures.

The data on the number of fighters comes from the Western Europe foreign fighters table in this report and some of the additional data on other Western countries in that report. It provides the following explanation what these minimum and maximum estimates are based on:

Our dataset contains approximately 1,500 open source items which have been collected since November 2011. They include: media reports about foreign fighters in English, Arabic and several other languages (and from both sides of the conflict); government estimates; and statements about foreign fighters by jihadist groups, typically published in online extremist forums and on social media.

For each country, we provide “low” and “high” estimates, with low figures including only fully confirmed cases where names are known, and high figures representing the maximum number of individuals based on credible sources.

The data on the numbers of jihadist death notices comes from this report, which notes the following limitations:

Since the Syrian uprising turned into an armed rebellion, jihadists have announced the deaths of more than 1,100 fighters on their Twitter and Facebook accounts and, to a lesser extent, on password-protected forums. Although other foreigners have been killed in Syria, their deaths were reported by non-jihadist rebels, Western media, or Arabic media and are not included in this assessment. The figures below also exclude foreigners who have fought on the Assad regime’s side.

To be sure, the information gleaned from jihadist sources is self-reported, and some data might therefore be suppressed for political reasons, especially reports of Iraqi involvement. That said, it still offers a worthwhile snapshot of an otherwise murky world.

I’ve ordered the table in three different ways, so you can easily see how the countries compare to each other in each of the three categories.

Version 1: Western fighters in Syria by country, ordered by low estimates (descending).

Country Low estimate High estimate Jihadist death notices

1

Belgium

76

296

1

2

France

63

412

6

3

United Kingdom

43

366

2

4

Sweden

39

87

1

5

Germany

34

240

3

6

Spain

34

95

2

7

Norway

33

40

1

8

Netherlands

29

152

2

9

Denmark

25

84

2

10

Australia

23

205

5

11

Bosnia

18

60

2

12

United States

17

60

3

13

Ireland

11

26

4

14

Albania

9

140

3

15

Canada

9

100

2

16

Kosovo

4

150

2

17

Finland

4

20

0

18

Macedonia

3

20

2

19

Italy

2

50

1

20

Austria

1

60

0

21

Luxembourg

1

1

1

22

Switzerland

1

1

0

Version 2: Western fighters in Syria by country, ordered by high estimates (descending).

Country Low estimate High estimate Jihadist death notices

1

France

63

412

6

2

United Kingdom

43

366

2

3

Belgium

76

296

1

4

Germany

34

240

3

5

Australia

23

205

5

6

Netherlands

29

152

2

7

Kosovo

4

150

2

8

Albania

9

140

3

9

Canada

9

100

2

10

Spain

34

95

2

11

Sweden

39

87

1

12

Denmark

25

84

2

13

Bosnia

18

60

2

14

United States

17

60

3

15

Austria

1

60

0

16

Italy

2

50

1

17

Norway

33

40

1

18

Ireland

11

26

4

19

Finland

4

20

0

20

Macedonia

3

20

2

21

Luxembourg

1

1

1

22

Switzerland

1

1

0

Version 3: Western fighters in Syria by country, ordered by number of jihadist death notices (descending).

Country Low estimate High estimate Jihadist death notices

1

France

63

412

6

2

Australia

23

205

5

3

Ireland

11

26

4

4

Germany

34

240

3

5

United States

17

60

3

6

Albania

9

140

3

7

United Kingdom

43

366

2

8

Spain

34

95

2

9

Netherlands

29

152

2

10

Denmark

25

84

2

11

Bosnia

18

60

2

12

Canada

9

100

2

13

Kosovo

4

150

2

14

Macedonia

3

20

2

15

Belgium

76

296

1

16

Sweden

39

87

1

17

Norway

33

40

1

18

Italy

2

50

1

19

Luxembourg

1

1

1

20

Finland

4

20

0

21

Austria

1

60

0

22

Switzerland

1

1

0

Enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s