A pair of British former soldiers fighting against jihadis in Syria have spoken out about their experience, saying of their decision to confront terrorism: “I’m a firm believer that if you want to do something you have to do it not talk about it”.
James Hughes, 26, one of the former squaddies who flew to Turkey and then continued over land, said of their motivation, which was inspired by the revulsion at the Islamic State’s execution of aid worker Alan Henning: “I wanted to help. The situation in England is getting bad in terms of the support IS get.
“The world needs to open its eyes to the threat they pose”.
Breitbart London has previously reported on the pair, both veterans who travelled out to Syria a fortnight ago, but they have now spoken to the Sun newspaper, describing the conditions they have found in the country so far. One of the most remarkable reports is the state of war between the Kurdish forces they have joined and the Islamic State jihadists they oppose, which they describe as being like Great-War style trench warfare.
Jamie Read, 24, formerly of Second Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s regiment described the stalemate found in an absence of proper military leadership: “Forget about any Western tactics. There’s no reconnaissance, no intelligence work done and no logistics.
“The first thing we did was to push forward into no man’s land and put an observation post there. A lot of the fighting has been long-range with AK-47s, PK machine guns and sniper rifles.
“IS don’t want to approach us and the YPG are content with holding the line. I think the YPG will eventually gain ground but they are waiting on US or Coalition air strikes”. Read apparently believes that with a small group of British troops trained in modern tactics and leadership, the Islamic State could be stopped in its tracks.
One way the trenches of Syria are unlike those of Northern France in the 1914-18 war however, is the food. While many British soldiers could then have expected to eat significantly better than they did at home, enjoying a pound of red meat a day, food is so scarce in the arid desert over which they are fighting Hughes remarked “Some dudes suffered malnutrition”.
The pair said that after their identities had become known, they were concerned their families in the UK had become targets for reprisals by sympathisers to the Islamic State who lived in England. They said: “We’re disgusted our families were put at risk. We were already worrying about staying alive but that gave us something else to worry about too. We are glad now police and intelligence services are keeping an eye out”.
A statement on the pair’s Facebook page quoted Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” and said, rebutting suggestions in the media that they were mercenaries merely out for money: “This is not a religious war nor is it a racial war, this is a war of good against evil – a magnificent simplicity.
“Those that are good will continue to fight regardless of what the media portrays us as and regardless of the media attempts to pervert the beliefs that motivate us, and in the end good will win because there are still enough good men who refuse to do nothing”.