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US, British Volunteer Fighters in Forward Role in IS Battle

  • Associated Press

Macer Gifford, a 30-year former City broker in London, who fights with an Assyrian militia, that is part of the U.S-backed forces battling Islamic State group militants, looks through a hole into a street controlled by the IS, on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017.

Several U.S. and British volunteer fighters are on the front lines in the battle against the Islamic State group for the Syrian city of Raqqa.

They joined U.S.-allied militias in Syria for different reasons, some motivated by testimonies of survivors of the unimaginable brutality that IS flaunted in establishing its self-proclaimed caliphate.

For Taylor Hudson, a 33-year old from Pasadena, IS extremists “represent everything that is wrong with humanity.”

Macer Gifford, a 30-year former City broker in London, came to Syria three years ago to volunteer first with the Kurdish militia. Now he is fighting with an Assyrian militia, also part of the U.S-backed forces battling IS militants.

He says: “I am here defending the people of Syria against terrorists.”

The U.S.-backed forces launched the push on Raqqa in June.

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