A Western jihadi explains why he fights in Syria

A 26-year-old Dutch-born soldier says he felt compelled to join Syrian rebels after seeing videos of the chemical attacks President Bashar Assad's regime carried out on its people.

"So I felt the need as a person, as a human and, of course, as a Muslim," the man, identified as Yilmaz, told CBS News, "that I had to stand up and do stuff."

"I would fight anybody," he said. "Even if it was my own father that was bombing these people, I would fight him and kill him myself."

Yilmaz says he and his fellow militants "left everything behind" when he migrated from Holland two years ago to become one of thousands of jihadis fighting in Syria.

"Everything, everything," Yilmaz said. "Our families, our friends  basically our future."

Yilmaz, who quit the Dutch army after he was rejected from Holland's special forces, is not fighting with the Islamic State militants, who are responsible for a series of beheadings of Western captives. But he refused to condemn them, comparing their brutal tactics to those used by the Assad regime.

"War crimes," Yilmaz said. "What's a war crime? More than 200,000 dead  that is not a war crime? Barrel bombs, chemical attacks  is that not a war crime?"

Yilmaz says the recent U.S.-led airstrikes against the militant group in Iraq and Syria have reignited the belief among people in the region that the West is waging a war against Islam.

"The American government, the American lobby, that's waging this crusade against the Muslims all around the world," he said. "They've always been our enemy."

He was asked if he thinks there will be more terrorist attacks on the United States.

"If you keep on poking and cornering a wild dog that wants nothing but his freedom, he will bite you, and he will bite you hard," Yilmaz said. "And this fight never ends. Never ends. This is our religion. This is our faith. This is what we believe in."