By Marga Zambrana, Hazar Aydemir in Istanbul and Emma Graham-Harrison. Nine young British medical students have travelled illegally to Syria and are believed to be working in hospitals in Islamic State-controlled areas, the Observer can reveal. Their families were mounting a desperate effort on Saturday at the Turkish-Syrian border to persuade them to come home.
The group of four women and five men crossed the border last week, apparently keeping their plans secret from relatives until just before entering Syria, when one woman sent her sister a brief message and a smiling selfie.
“We all assume that they are in Tel Abyad now, which is under Isis control. The conflict out there is fierce, so medical help must be needed,” Turkish opposition politician Mehmet Ali Ediboglu told the Observer, shortly after meeting the families.
“They have been cheated, brainwashed. That is what I, and their relatives, think.”
Both he and the students’ parents were convinced that the young medics wanted to work with Isis, Ediboglu said, but they were also certain that the group did not plan to take up arms. “Let’s not forget about the fact that they are doctors; they went there to help, not to fight. So this case is a little bit different.” (Read more from “Nine British Medics Enter Isis Stronghold to Work in Hospitals” HERE)
Nine British Medics Feared to Have Crossed into Syria
By BBC. The group, all in their late teens or early 20s, had been studying medicine in Sudan.
Some of their relatives, who have travelled to the Turkish-Syrian border, told the BBC they were gravely concerned about their welfare.
The medics are believed to have entered Syria more than a week ago.
They have been named as Ismail Hamadoun, Tamer Ahmed Ebu Sebah, Mohammed Osama Bedir, Hisham Muhammed Fadlallah, Sami Ahmed Khader, Nada Sami Khader, Lena Maumoon Abdul Qadir, Rowan Kamal Zine El Abidine and Tasneem Suleyman Huseyin. (Read more from this story HERE)