A married father-of-two from Melbourne has joined a Christian militia group in Iraq, echoing other Westerners who are travelling to the Middle East to fight the ISIL terror group.
Khamis Gewargis Khamis left Australia to join an Assyrian militia group known as “Dwekh Nawsha”, the ABC has reported.
The organisation was formed in response to Islamic State-led assaults on the Assyrian population in Iraq, which has forced tens of thousands of the minority to flee from their homes.
The group operates to protect Christian villages in the northern Nineveh province.
“These are barbaric people, they came here only to die for what they believe in, so you can imagine the terror that they are spreading among the families, the kids and so on,” Mr Khamis told the ABC.
Thousands of foreigners have reportedly travelled to Iraq and Syria in recent years to join ISIL, however Mr Khamis represents a small portion of Westerners who have made the journey to fight against the Jihadists.
“In the last few days, [ISIL] have been trying to come to these towns. They were somehow stopped by the coalition forces, from the air,” he said.
Mr Khamis with fighters in Iraq. (Supplied)
“We are on the frontline, so the last few nights there has been bombing from both sides, shelling.
He said he was prepared to face any legal consequences in Australia as a result of his participation.
“We are concerned, but if anything happens because of my travel here and supporting and joining Dwekh Nawsha, I am happy and prepared to stand in front of the law,” he said.
An American army veteran known only as Brett has also reportedly travelled to join Dwekh Nawsha, a name which means “self-sacrifice” in the Aramaic language.
The 28-year-old told Reuters that fighting on behalf of his Christian beliefs was a very different experience compared to his army days.
“It’s very different. Here I’m fighting for a people and for a faith, and the enemy is much bigger and more brutal.”
More than sixty countries, including Australia, are carrying out air and limited ground operations to stop the spread of the Islamic State.
© ninemsn 2015
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