Westerners join Iraqi Christian militia to fight Islamic State

Westerners who have joined the Iraqi Christian militia Dwekh Nawsha to fight against Islamic State militants, take a photograph together at the office of the Assyrian political party in Dohuk. -- PHOTO: AFP
Westerners who have joined the Iraqi Christian militia Dwekh Nawsha to fight against Islamic State militants, take a photograph together at the office of the Assyrian political party in Dohuk. -- PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - When the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group swept through Iraq and Syria last year, posting its conquests on social media, it drew thousands of foreign fighters from across the world to join its ranks.

But it also drew some fighters whose mission is to fight back against ISIS.

"What I want to accomplish is to get Daesh out of this country, destroy it basically,", said a foreign fighter named Scott.

At the Assyrian Political Party building in Iraq's Ninawa province, a group of Americans has joined a Christian militia called Dwekh Nawsha.

They are fighting alongside Kurdish peshmerga forces to protect Christian villages on the front line.

Andrew, another foreign soldier, spoke of his motivation to join the fight. "I am here to protect the innocents at all costs and it is out of love and concern and respect for these people here."

Many of these fighters are US veterans and while their motives for fighting differ, they all agree that ISIS must go.