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KOBANE – Julian is a 23-year-old French fighter who has enlisted in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). He is known among his Kurdish comrades by his nom de guerre, Heval Shoresh.
Speaking to ARA News, Julian said that his principle motivation for joining the YPG was his desire to safeguard civilians threatened by the Islamic State (ISIS).
“I was motivated to join this struggle after seeing what those ISIS terrorists have done in Syria, France, and other countries,” Julian told ARA News. “I couldn’t stay home while all of this was going on here. So I came to join the Kurds to fight ISIS.”
“The main motive for me here is to protect civilians [from] ISIS extremists,” the French YPG fighter said. “I’m truly glad to be here and help the people in the fight against this terrorist group.”
“I hereby would like to send a message to all European citizens who have joined ISIS, that we are ready to fight them with all means,” he said. “What they are doing here is completely unacceptable.”
Julian told ARA News that his family understood why he joined up, despite the risks. Several foreign fighters were killed in the battle for Manbij, including Jordan MacTaggart, William Savage and Levi Shirley.
“I believe that my family understands why I’m here now. They know what I came to do here, and they are okay with it,” he added.
“I really appreciate the Kurdish people and their struggle,” he added. “Although I don’t speak Kurdish, I can connect to the people here and know them better. I’m still very glad to be among them [in Rojava].”
Hundreds of foreign volunteers have enlisted in the People’s Protection Units in order to fight ISIS.
Speaking to ARA News in August, Chairman of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) Salih Muslim said that foreign volunteers join the YPG forces to protect humanitarian values, and to fight ISIS extremists, “who are a danger to all humanity.”
“The Kurds are very happy with these foreign fighters. They do not feel alone. In the past the Kurds only had mountains, but now we have Americans, British, French and Germans,” Muslim added.
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