Report: British Citizens Joining Fight Against Islamists in Syria

Photos of Western fighters appear on Facebook community page attributed to Kurdish People's Protection Units.

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Fighters for the Kurds in Syria on The Lions of Royava Facebook page.
Fighters for the Kurds in Syria on The Lions of Royava Facebook page.Credit: Screen grab

Like in the days of the Spanish Civil War, Western nationals, particularly British citizens, are streaming into Syria to fight against Islamists, not just for them, British media reported over the weekend.

A Facebook community called The Lions of Rojava displays pictures of numerous Westerners, who have joined "People's Defense Units" in Rojava, Syria.

"Its better to live one day as a Lion than thousands days as a sheep," (sic) the page declares above a photograph of seven people, mostly sporting fatigues and sunglasses.

The U.K.'s Observer named former British infantryman James Hughes and his friend Jamie Read as two such mercenaries. Hughes wrote on his Facebook page that he served in Afghanistan three times and left the army this year after serving five years, according to The Observer. He is reportedly fighting on behalf of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG.

The website, allegedly run by the YPG, calls on volunteers to "send terrorists to hell and save humanity."

British police are also looking for a 17-year-old girl of Kurdish descent, who was last seen in Belgium and may have been planning to joining the Kurdish Women's Defense Units, The Observer reported.

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