Young boys known as the
Young boys known as the "lion cubs” hold rifles and Islamic State group flags as they exercise at a training camp in Tal Afar, near Mosul, northern Iraq, in April last year.

Russia, Syria 'create terrorists'

THE head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Alex Younger, has used his first public speech to warn that the brutal campaign by the Assad regime in Syria, backed by Russia, is creating a new generation of terrorists who will be a threat to the international community.

He also said propaganda, cyber-attacks and subversion from hostile states posed a "fundamental threat” to European democracies, including the UK. He did not name any such state, but it is widely understood he was referring to Russia.

But he did say Russia was conducting illegitimate operations with Syria.

"As I speak, the highly organised external attack planning structures within Daesh (IS) even as they face military threat, are plotting ways to project violence against the UK and our allies without having to leave Syria,” he said.

He said infiltrating IS was key to combating the threat.