17:14 GMT16 June 2021
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    A team of former British Army soldiers, seen posing on social media with assault rifles, are preparing to leave the UK and join the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

    The men make up the first volunteer unit to fight alongside Kurdish militias. Some members are believed to have had Special Forces Training.

    One member of the group told the Evening Standard: "I and several colleagues, all ex-armed forces, have formed a small unit which is open for English-speaking individuals from any nation. We will be in Syria within weeks and are training every day. We intend to submit our skills to the people of Kurdistan".

    The team intends to be "a serious asset" and stipulated that despite wearing uniforms that are similar to the UK armed forces, "we have no association to them other than the fact we are ex-armed forces".

    A colleague added that:

    "This is something that has been organised and planned for some time. These people are all very upstanding people, they are not thugs."

    A father of three who served for nine years with the British Army in Bosnia and Kosovo also admitted to the Standard that he is planning on joining the Peshmerga militia. Daniel Hill, 39, said: "I have to do my part to help. After watching the news and seeing the evil things these terrorists are doing to people is too much".

    ISIS Hunting Club

    The former soldier recently had the slogan "Isis Hunting Club" tattooed on his chest. The website, created by US ex-servicemen is accompanied by a slogan (complete with spelling mistakes) which says 'Get your ISIS Hunting Club Permit today' and 'learn some slef defense moves to protect yourself from terrorist'.

    ISIS Hunting Permit featured on the ISIS Hunting Club website
    ISIS Hunting Permit featured on the ISIS Hunting Club website

    The group of ex-British army soldiers says they have already raised over £13,000 to fund their trip and say they have created their own sword symbol to represent their group: IVFOR, International Volunteer Force.

    The number of foreign fighters from the West who are lining up to travel to Syria to fight against the jihadist terror group is believed to be growing. According to one report, 100 westerners are already there fighting Islamic State.

    However, it comes at a price. A former Royal Marine became the first Briton to be killed in Syria fighting Islamic State earlier this month.

    Konstandinos Erik Scurfield from Yorkshire left for Syria just days after leaving the army.


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    Middle East, Daesh, servicemen, soldiers, hunting, military, war, special forces, Iraq War, The Syrian war, British army, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Syria, Iraq, Britain, Kurdistan, United Kingdom
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