France - Syria

Two French teenagers go to join Syria jihadis

Fighters of the al-Nusra Front in northern Syria last month
Fighters of the al-Nusra Front in northern Syria last month Reuters/Molhem Barakat

French anti-terror police are investivating the case of two teenagers who have left the southern city of Toulouse to fight for Islamist militias in Syria. President François Hollande this week said that 700 people have left France to join jihadi groups fighting Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Advertising

The 15-year-olds left France for Turkey on 5 January, hoping to join an armed Islamist group fighting in Syria, their father said.

They had been brainwashed on the internet, he told Friday'sDépèche du Midi paper.

Toulouse public prosecutor Michel Valet said that he had taken on the case after the two boys' families went to the police, adding that several young men from Toulouse and other towns have gone to Syria since Mohamed Merah was died in a police raid after a killing spree in 2012.

Two brothers from Toulouse, who had converted to Islam, were killed in Syria last year.

At a press conference this week Hollande said that 700 French citizens and foreign nationals have gone to Syria from France to join armed Islamist groups.

Twenty of them have been killed, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced on Friday.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning