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SYRIA

Police hunt Norway teens who went to fight in Syria

Oslo has launched a global hunt for two Norwegian teenage girls of Somali origin who have allegedly travelled to Syria to support the rebels in the war-torn country, police said Monday.

Police hunt Norway teens who went to fight in Syria
The mother of Amar Ateek, 19, of the rebel Free Syria Army (FSA) mourns during his funeral in Anadan, north Syria, on April 21, 2012 - Freedom House
 
   Police said in a statement the teenagers, aged 16 and 19, had been reported missing on Friday and had reportedly been spotted near the Syrian border.
   
"The family that reported the missing girls is deeply concerned by the purpose of the journey and fears they might have gone to Syria," the statement read "The police have launched an international search of the girls through Interpol."
   
The girls sent an email to their family, who have lived in Norway since 2000, to explain the reasons behind their departure.
   
"Muslims are currently under attack from all fronts and something needs to be done. We want to help the Muslims, and the only way to do so is to be with
them in their pains and their joy," they wrote, according to Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang.
   
"It is not enough to stay at home and send money. With this in mind, we have decided to go to Syria to help by any means," they said.
   
The identity of the girls has not been revealed.
 
According to the tabloid, their family is not particularly religious, but the older girl recently became radicalised and started wearing a full-face veil, or niqab.
   
According to estimates from Norwegian intelligence, between 30 and 40 people have left Norway to take part in the Syrian conflict.
 
"Norwegian media have already reported on female cases, but a 16-year-old, that is a special case," Norwegian Police Security Service spokesman Trond Hugubakken said.
 

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SYRIA

Nato ally Norway suspends new arms exports to Turkey

Norway, a Nato ally of Turkey, announced Thursday it was suspending all new arms exports to the country after Ankara launched a military offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

Nato ally Norway suspends new arms exports to Turkey
Smoke rising from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad on October 10th. Photo: AFP

“Given that the situation is complex and changing quickly, the foreign ministry as a precautionary measure will not handle any new demands for exports of defence material or material for multiple uses… to Turkey,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said in an email sent to AFP.

She added that the ministry would also review all licenses for arms exportation that have already been issued.

Syria's Kurds, who were the West's allies in the fight against Islamic State group jihadists, were battling Thursday to hold off a Turkish invasion as thousands of civilians fled air strikes and shelling that deepened fears of a humanitarian crisis and raised international alarm.

Finland, which is not a member of the Nato alliance, announced on Wednesday the suspension of all new arms exports to Turkey or any other country involved in the fighting.

READ ALSO: Norway decides against participation in Nato missile defence system