Over the last few months, the world has seen just how ruthless the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) can be. From their barbaric methods of execution to their aggressive interpretation of Sharia Law, more people are on high-alert when it comes to the dealings of this terrorist organization. As a matter of fact, The Inquisitr reports that Iraqi Christians are militarizing to fight ISIS so they can reclaim their land and defend their faith.
Though their reasons are novel, the Iraqi Christians are a minority. In this battle, it is like they are David and ISIS is Goliath. Despite this fact, foreigners from around the world are joining them, especially one such man who served in the U.S. military.
According to an article by Reuters followed-up by Newsmax, Brett, a military veteran who served in the U.S. Army, recently joined an Iraqi Christian militia to fight off ISIS. During his time serving, Brett was deployed to Iraq in 2006 to help liberate the people. This time around, he fights for his faith, one he recognizes is different from his initial military tour.
“It’s very different. Here I’m fighting for a people and for a faith, and the enemy is much bigger and more brutal.”
The militia Brett joined is called Dwekh Nawsha, Aramaic for “self-sacrifice.” They work alongside Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the central Iraqi government to protect the remaining Christian villages not occupied by ISIS, including those on the front line in the Nineveh province. Brett, who sees the fight as a Biblical war between good and evil, explains that said Christian villages are the only towns where church bells can still be heard.
As mentioned earlier, Brett isn’t the only one to leave their lives behind to help the Dwekh Nawsha. Last week, Tim from Britain and Scott from the U.S. joined them. Both of them had established lives back in their homes, but they gave it all up to help. The only foreigner to use his full name is Khamis Gewargis Khamis from Melbourne, Australia. From what is reported by ABC News, foreigners who join Dwekh Nawsha are using only their first names for two reasons. First is to protect their families. Second is traverse any laws against foreign fighting. For Khamis, he understands the ramification of using his full name may have.
“I am concerned, we do love Australia, it’s our second home, we love it as much as we love Iraq. We [Khamis and his family] 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.”
Right now, the Dwekh Nawsha are trying to optimize what little supplies they have to take on ISIS. True, they fight alongside Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the central Iraqi government, but they receive little to no help from either of them. Being an independent militia, they have to take care of their own most of the time. However, the foreigners are trying to attain support from communities from their home countries but more so Australia and United States.
Even with the odds against them, the foreigners made it clear they are prepared to stay in Iraq indefinitely. As for the prospect of being killed, they too are ready to give their lives in battle, which is best explained by Brett.
“Everyone dies. One of my favorite verses in the Bible says: be faithful unto death, and I shall give you the crown of life.”
[Images courtesy of Dwekh Nawsha/Khamis Gewargis Khamis]