Horrified by ISIS atrocities,Â dozens of western volunteers are fighting alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga army againstÂ ISIS Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq.
People from the United Kingdom, America, Germany, Canada and other western countries, including a woman, have reportedly answered recruitment call from Lions of Rojava, a Facebook site run by the Kurdish Peopleâ€™s Protection Units.
Many of them have military backgrounds, The Muslim Issue has reported. Americans Jordan Matson, an early US Army discharge, and Jeremy Woodard, an Army veteran with tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, and six unidentified Canadian special forces veterans are among them. Also volunteering are former British infantryman James Hughes, who had three tours in Afghanistan, and his friend, Jamie Read, who was trained by the French army. Others, including an Australian, refuse to be identified.Â Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian-Israeli woman was the first westerner to join YPGâ€™s female squads
Reports of ISISâ€™s cruelty, rapes and murders of Christians, Yasidis and even Muslims who donâ€™t agree with ISISÂ is drawing outside fighters. The caged immolation of a Jordanian pilot was the latest atrocity to horrify the world.
“How many people were sold into slavery or killed just for being part of a different ethnic group or religion?…I’m not going back until the fight is finished and ISIS is crippled.”
â€”American volunteer Jordan Matson
“How many people were sold into slavery or killed just for being part of a different ethnic group or religion?” Matson told The Associated Press. “That’s something I am willing to die to defend.”
“I’m not going back until the fight is finished and ISIS is crippled,” Matson said. “I decided that if my government wasn’t going to do anything to help this country, especially Kurdish people who stood by us for 10 years and helped us out while we were in this country, then I was going to do something.”
The work is dirty and hard with little payback but the satisfaction of helping people in need. Itâ€™s dangerous, of course, and some volunteers have been wounded.
Generally western nations, except Australia, donâ€™t forbid the volunteering as long as they arenâ€™t fighting their home country. The Assyrian Christians and Yasidis forming militias as well, so volunteers will have options: see link.