A defecting MEK member coming from Syria says two MEK members have been killed in the fighting there. They had gone from Denmark and Sweden via Turkey. They took a flight to Istanbul and travelled overland by cars into Syria.
We knew the MEK has an open presence in Syria and a camp called Hanif – the MEK calls this ‘the hospital’ as a code name. The source claims to have come across several fighters among the MEK personnel who do not speak either Arabic or Farsi, but only speak English. This is a new development. The MKO have been open about working with the Free Syrian Army but have never admitted to being engaged in military activity.
Up to this point their connection with the Free Syrian Army has been through Jordan alongside the Saddamists – Ezzat Ibrahim branch – who have always been based there but who have a much better relationship with the West than does the Iraqi government.
The leadership of the Mojahedin Khalq and the Free Syrian Army have been and do visit and meet in Paris and other Western capitals openly. (According to their own statements they are very close and strategic partners.) But the use of Turkey as a route and more than that, the use of European residents especially on the front lines (where these two have been killed by the Syrian Army) seems to be new.
It is not clear if this new development has been by the MEK’s own initiative or is a new strategy by their western backers and with their prior knowledge. (If their backers are in the know, why would they not use the usual way of Jordan instead of Turkey?)
We are, however, sure that the internal security authorities of Western countries would not be so happy to see their residents going for training and fighting alongside al Qaeda and MEK and come back to the EU or the US without their knowledge. My source is now travelling and I hope will be able to talk more when he is in a safer place.