Foreigners Fighting ISIS in Syria: The War of Others

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Denis Cuspert, aka Deso Dogg, is a German who joined the Islamic State. He’s become a household name for many. However, in this war – in which Germany has been directly supplying weapons to the Peschmerga forces since the attacks on Paris and is more than indirectly involved with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other Gulf states – hardly anyone is talking about the German civilians in northern Syria that are fighting terror militias.

While the German government sends its Tornado jets to Syria without a mandate under international law, we discovered German civilians, as well as other international volunteers fighting with and assisting Kurdish commandos. With AK-47s in hand, they are trying to halt the advance of the Islamic State and set up their own in its place. They’re trying to promote a societal model in which there’s no death penalty, men and women have equal right, freedom of religion exists. The far-left scene in Germany sees this as the most important leftist political project in the world and has therefore pledged its support.

VICE journalist, Sebastian Weiss, met up with a German ex-soldier and former Foreign Legionnaire, a 19-year-old Canadian fighter, a mother of four from Poland, an ICOR brigade member, German social workers and a 25-year-old from Saarbrücken, who are deployed under the command of the People’s Protection Units, directly on the front and only 50 kilometers from the IS stronghold, Raqqah.

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