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'American Volunteers' on the Frontlin...
M4, Ain Issa, Tal Abyad, Ar-Raqqah Governorate, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

May 29, 2016
Raqqa, Syria

Photos show foreign fighters, identified by the Kurdish YPG as American volunteers, on ground in Ain Issa, northern Raqqa.

The three fighters who's nicknames are Andog, Brosk and Tekosher, refused to speak on camera.

Kurdish-Arabic fighters said that US special forces are helping a major offensive against the Islamic State group in its stronghold of Raqqa province.

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 02
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighters', Brosk (left) and Tekosher (right)

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 03
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighters', Brosk (left) and Tekosher (right)

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 04
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighter', Tekosher inside a YPG tank

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 05
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighter', Tekosher on a YPG tank

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 06
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighter', Tekosher on a YPG tank

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 07
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighter', Tekosher on a YPG tank

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 08
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighters', Tekosher (left) and Brosk (right)

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 09
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighter', Brosk makes V sign

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 10
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighter', Andog points to a YPG badge on his military jacket

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 11
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighter', Andog (left) with a Kurdish fighter (right)

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 12
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

القاتلين الامريكيين في حملة تحرير الرقة TEKOSHER و BROSK

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'American Volunteers' Join YPG 13
Raqqa, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

'American volunteer fighters', Tekosher (left) and Brosk (right)

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'American Volunteers' on the Frontlin...
M4, Tal Abyad, Ar-Raqqah Governorate, Syria
By yekru
29 May 2016

May 29, 2016
Raqqa, Syria

Video shows foreign fighters, identified by the Kurdish YPG as American volunteers, on ground in Ain Issa, northern Raqqa.

The three fighters who's nicknames are Andog, Brosk and Tekosher, refused to speak on camera.

Kurdish-Arabic fighters said that US special forces are helping a major offensive against the Islamic State group in its stronghold of Raqqa province.

00:07
Tekosher (to the Left with a hat)
Brosk (Center)
Andog (Right)

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Mike Skillt: Interview with a Swedish...
Kiev
By Cosimo Attanasio
22 Jun 2015

Interview with Mike Skillt from battallion Azov, the most popular foreign fighters in Ukraine.
After 6 years in the Swedish army, the prison and 5 years as civilian he decide to left his country and going to help his Ukrainian friends who fought in Maidan.
He joined in battallion Azov where he became sniper and instructor, actually his popularity convinced pro-Russian forces to put a price on his head (one million of dollars).
His baptism by fire in Mariupol, his reasons, his ethics and religion, but also the issue of foreign fighters in Ukraine, his price on head and the way to fight in the Ukrainian war.

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TRAILER: Documentary on Tunisian Jiha...
Tunis
By darraji kerim
08 Jun 2015

This documentary film by International Pixel Productions tells the story of Tunisian jihadists who left to Syria to fight alongside ISIS.

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Swedish Schoolteacher Joins Fight aga...
Al-Hassakah
By Bedir
28 May 2015

Jasper, a 24 year-old schoolteacher from Sweden describes his reasons for leaving his home and joining the fight against ISIS alongside the YPG in Syrian Kurdistan.

Going by his adoptive Kurdish name Agit, the young man has joined a battalion the YPG with two American fighters and one English fighter, all experienced military men, who give him special training to go head to head with ISIS in combat.

"I'm not afraid of them," he says. "They will pay for their crimes. I will fight to the last drop."

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Nikishyne 01
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
16 Apr 2015

Yellow circles warn drivers of unexploded mortars on the road to Nikishyne.

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Nikishyne 05
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Victor carries stones across town in his motorcycle to repair his house.

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Nikishyne 06
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Flowers in a windowsill seem to have survived the devastation left behind in the ongoing conflict.

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Nikishyne 08
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Everywhere you look in Nikishyne, the same panorama persists: destroyed homes of people struggling to rebuild their lives.

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Nikishyne 09
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

A bullet hole in a steel fence was made from the inside, proof that fighters brought the battle into private homes.

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Nikishyne 10
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Clothes left over or people of this house came back. Was totally empty when I was there.

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Nikishyne 11
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

People left many personal belongings behind when they were forced to flee the fighting.

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Nikishyne 13
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

An MRO Russian rocket launcher lies abandoned. The writing on the side reads, "Friends will be friends. Call for assault on Kiev."

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Nikishyne 16
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Dimitri sits in front of his house in Nikishyne.

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Nikishyne 17
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Tomas Vlach, the emergency coordinator of "People in Need," looks for available materials needed to repair homes.

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Nikishyne 18
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Dimitri, holds a photo of his house before the conflict destroyed it and most of his posessions.

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Nikishyne 22
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Tomas lends a helping hand to his neighbour Tatiana, who lost her home in the conflict.

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Nikishyne 23
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

"They dug a trench and used Tatiana's house as a fighting position. What can we do?" Tomas said.

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Nikishyne 24
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Tomas collects evidence for "People in Need."

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Nikishyne 25
Nikishyne
By Yves Choquette
15 Apr 2015

Tomas helps Victor to move his old motorcycle out of the yard so he can get more sand for Tatiana's repairs.

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Swedish Iraqi Christian Fighting Agai...
Ninevah Plains
By Stevennabil
03 Apr 2015

Daniel a former Swedish army soldier who was born of Iraqi christian parents in Stockholm decided to volunteer with a christian militia in the Nineveh plains and fight isis after watching them taking his native towns near mousil

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Swedish Iraqi Christian Fighting Agai...
Ninevah Plains
By Stevennabil
29 Mar 2015

Daniel a former Swedish army soldier who was born of Iraqi christian parents in Stockholm decided to volunteer with a christian militia in the Nineveh plains and fight isis after watching them taking his native towns near mousil

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The Christian Militia Fighting ISIS i...
Unnamed Road, Bakufa,Iraq
By Nils Metzger
23 Mar 2015

This footage shows fighters from the Assyrian Christian Dwekh Nawsha militia at their forward operating base in Baqufa, Iraq, as well as on the frontline where they operate together with Peshmerga units. Since August, Dwekh Nawsha has guarded the village of Baqufa – especially its church – from looters. They also control the road connecting Mosul, the largest city in the Islamic State, and Dohuk, a large Kurdish city currently giving refuge to more than 100.000 displaced persons, many of them Christians.

This specific section of the frontline is very quiet, with no major fighting for the past six months since neither side has any heavy weapons deployed here. Many refugees criticize the militia’s lack of commitment to recapturing their village in the Niniveh area.

This footage shows an ordinary day with Dwekh Nawsha: watching the enemy on the frontline, waiting at the base camp, patrolling the village of Baqufa, staying awake all night to guard the small checkpoint, preparing breakfast for the day shift, cleaning the base and returning home for their week off.

The footage includes interviews with Rama Baito, the social media manager of Dwekh Nawsha; Sargon Logan, a 25-year old bread vendor from the city of Dohuk who joined Dwekh Nawsha three months ago; General Tareq Suliman, the local Peshmerga commander on the frontline near Dohuk; and his second-in-command, Colonel Kerim, who accompanied the journalist to the frontline.

BACKGROUND:

In August 2014, the Islamic State captured a number of Iraqi Christian towns in the area surrounding Mosul, among them Karakosh, the largest Iraqi city with a Christian majority.

While most fled, some Christians organized themselves into militias to defend their villages. One of them is Dwekh Nawsha (‘The Sacrificers’). Since August 2014, they have trained more than 60 fighters from the Ninaveh region of Iraq and control a small part of the frontline north of Mosul near a village called Baqufa. Dwekh Nawsha is not just a militia of Christians, but one fighting for the interests of the ancient Assyrian communities in Iraq. The Assyrians cherish a culture much older than Christianity, but were also one of the first peoples to convert in the 1st century AD. Over the last few months, the Islamic State has destroyed a number of important excavating sites and historical cities of the Assyrians, a people who used to rule over large parts of the Middle East 3.000 years ago.

The interviews were conducted in English and Kurdish.

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Interview: US Citizen Provides Iraqi ...
Dohuk, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
22 Mar 2015

In February 2015, Judd Carroll from Tyler, Texas decided to start a fundraising campaign to help Christian refugee children in northern Iraq and then deliver the material aid himself. Not only did the fundraising effort fail but, despite harsh criticism from family and friends, he spent his own money to fly to Iraq to bring both baby food and military equipment to local Christian militias. In this 30min interview, he explains his motivation and why he wants to join these Christian militias fighting the Islamic State.

The interview was filmed at the headquarters of the Christian Assyrian militia Dwekh Nawsha (‘The Sacrificers’).

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Interview: Yousif Thomas Mirkis, Chal...
Sulaimaniya, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
20 Mar 2015

Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis of Kirkul is one of the most important clergymen in the Chaldean Church and one of the most influential representatives of the Christian community in all of Iraq. The diocese of Kirkuk has always been a centerpiece of Iraqi Christendom, its former Archbishop Louis Raphael Sako having become the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church in 2013. This interview with Bishop Mirkis was conducted on 19 March 2015 in Sulaimaniya, Iraq.

The main topics discussed are the current refugee crisis and the future role of Christians in Iraq.

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Interview: Emanuel Youkhana, Head of ...
Erbil, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
18 Mar 2015

This footage is an extended interview with Archimandrit Emanuel Youkhana, priest of the Assyrian Church of the East and head of the most important Christian relief organization in Iraq, CAPNI. Here he talks extensively about why, even after the Islamic State has collapsed, he thinks Iraqi Christendom is about to die out, and why he does not expect things to get much better.

The interview was conducted in English.

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Christian Refugees in Erbil, Iraq 1080p
Erbil, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
18 Mar 2015

Jens Petzold is a Swiss monk who heads a monastery in Erbil, Iraq for Iraqi-christian refugees who fled ISIS attacks on their towns last year. A former resident of the famous Deir Mar Musa monastery in Syria, Petzold first came Iraq from Syria in 2011 in order to rebuild the abandoned monastery of Deir Maryam al-Adha. After the Islamic State started to attack Christian villages in Iraq this past summer, he became the sole caretaker of dozens of displaced families.

Petzold is a charismatic and unorthodox church congregation leader. This footage tries to show how a single person can make a big difference to many refugees as well as show how refugees from the Christian community try to get on with their daily lives, somehow trying to avoid leaving their homeland for good.

Background:

In August 2014, the Islamic State captured a number of Iraqi Christian towns in the area surrounding Mosul, among them Karakosh, the largest Iraqi city with a Christian majority. Most of its 50,000 residents fled within a couple of hours on the 6th of August and left most of their belongings behind. Right now more than 100,000 of the already shrinking population of Iraqi Christian community have become internally displaced or fled to other countries. While most of the IDPs have found refuge in Ankawa, the Christian quarter of Erbil and two large refugee camps near the city of Dohuk, a small monastery in Sulaimaniya opened its doors for more than 200 refugees who have now been living in this very crowded place for more than half a year. The monastery with its church and one building houses 80 people, nearby apartments another 100+ people. Almost 70 of them are children.

The author visited Sulaimaniya in March 2015. The entire footage was shot during that time. It includes interviews with Jens Petzold, several of the refugees, shows daily life in the monastery as well as a mass. I accompanied Jens Petzold during trips to the local market, to a Christian graveyard and to another local church community where they are raising funds to build new housing facilities.

The following rough cut is in chronological order as it was shot.

The interviews were conducted in English and Arabic.