NATO general: Europe migration causing ISIS to spread ‘like a cancer’ – CNN International

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“Greece of course has to protect its borders — this is not about only protecting the Greek-Macedonian border from the Macedonian side, so that we don’t get new routes in the migration flow.”

Rise of European Islamophobia

Rights groups have cautioned against scapegoating refugees in the wake of attacks like the deadly coordinated attacks in Paris in November 2015.

“Significant refugee flows to Europe, spurred largely by the Syrian conflict, coupled with broadening attacks on civilians in the name of the extremist group (ISIS), have led to growing fear-mongering and Islamophobia,” Human Rights Watch said in its 2016 World Report.

Breedlove told the Senate Armed Services Committee that alongside the threat posed by extremist organizations in Europe was the potential for unrest from local nationalists opposed to the unprecedented influx of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and unstable parts of Africa. Fears are they could become increasingly violent, building on the small number of attacks against migrant and refugee populations.

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Russia: Contributing to instability

In his Pentagon appearance Breedlove also pointed a finger at a “resurgent, aggressive Russia,” which “poses a long-term and existential threat to the U.S. and our European allies.”

Russia’s continued involvement in the Syrian civil war, which Breedlove said had bolstered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, has changed the dynamic in the theater and “complicated the problem… in the air and on the ground.”

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The view is compounded by Pentagon reports that Russia is using the nascent, shaky ceasefire in Syria to seize key territory.

Relations between Turkey, the only Muslim-majority member of NATO, and Russia also threatened security, with tensions between the two increasing the “risk of miscalculation or even confrontation.”

NATO general: Europe migration causing ISIS to spread ‘like a cancer’ – CNN International