""Syria...will be an Islamic and Sharia state and we will not accept anything else. Democracy and secularism are completely rejected," said the fighter, who called himself Khattab. Sporting a shaggy beard and with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder, he warned anyone who might stand in the way. "We will fight them, even if they are among the revolutionaries or anyone else," said Khattab, who left his job as a driver to fight for two years in Afghanistan before moving to Syria six months ago.
"All this talk about freedom, democracy and the secular state and a state of open freedoms like America and the European system - Islamists do not care about this talk at all," said 25-year-old Abu Muawiyah, a skinny fighter who said he was from the Aleppo countryside and translated for the foreigners. "There are some fighting factions like the Free Syrian Army, who have links to other countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and these countries have links with the controlling pole, which is the United States," he said.
At least some people in Aleppo seem willing to tolerate even gruesome retribution by the jihadists. "Yes, they have the sword and beheading, but only for those people who deserve it," said Hadi, a bearded rebel who spoke in the corridor of a bombed-out building that served as a gateway to a frontline." (thanks Basim)