After returning from treating patients in Aleppo, Syria, Jacques Beres, co-founder of the medical charity group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), said that at least half the people he treated were foreign fighters who are intent on waging holy war and establishing an Islamist state.
“It’s really something strange to see. They are directly saying that they aren’t interested in Bashar al-Assad’s fall, but are thinking about how to take power afterwards and set up an Islamic state with sharia law to become part of the world Emirate,” the doctor said, according to Reuters.
Additionally, according to the doctor, some of the fighters included French citizens who said they were inspired by Mohammed Merah—the al Qaida-linked terrorist who carried out the attack on the Ozar HaTorah Jewish Day School in Toulouse in March, killing a rabbi and three Jewish children.
“Some of them were French and completely fanatical about the future,” Beres said. “They didn’t trust me, but for instance they told me that Mohammed Merah was an example to follow.”
Many Western analysts have begun to suspect that jihadist fighters, including those who have fought against U.S. and ISAF forces in Iraq are playing an increasing role in the Syrian conflict.