British 'veteran fighter' plans to return to UK after fighting Assad's forces in Syria

. Credit: ITV News

*ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning reports: *

A Briton claiming to be "experienced in war" who now wants to fight with the rebels in Syria has told ITV News that he intends to return to the UK once his mission in the country is finished.

The man, who wants to be identified as 'Abu Firas', said he has previously fought in Afghanistan and considers fighting his "job".

Firas has travelled to Turkey and was interviewed in a safe house a couple of hours away from the town of Antakya, which borders Syria and is often where fighters first travel to.

He told ITV News that he plans on entering Syria to battle President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Once his mission is finished, he intends to return to his wife and children in Britain.

Firas, who is a graduate in his late 30s, was born in the UK and said he is "contented with his normal life" in Britain.

He said that his family both understands and supports his decision to fight the "oppression" in Syria.

However, he also issued a stark warning to young Britons thinking about travelling to the war-torn country.

Firas, who has been to Syria twice before, considers himself to be a veteran fighter but said those without experience in war could prove to be a "liability" in Syria.

Hundreds of Britons are fighting in Syria and police in the UK have made it clear that no-one should travel to the country.

There has been a big increase in arrests of those who have returned from Syria, with authorities concerned that fighters could come back and attack Britain.

Firas said that Muslims who are motivated to travel to Syria and help should not be punished by the British authorities.

Firas would not disclose which brigade he was fighting with in Syria, although he revealed that it was not the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) - which was a former affiliate of al-Qaeda.

When asked whether he would want Sharia law in Syria, the Briton said he was in the war-torn country to "act as a servant" to the people and not to impose his views on them.

Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, told ITV News' Lucy Manning that Firas' message was atypical of what other British fighters were saying.