A very interesting development, as reported by the Washington Post.
DAHUK, Iraq — In a smoky living room in a makeshift military headquarters, Brett, a former U.S. serviceman with tattoos of Jesus etched on his forearms, explained how he hopes to help keep the church bells of Iraq ringing.
“Jesus tells us what you do unto the least of them, you do unto me,” said the 28-year-old from Detroit who served an extended tour in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. He asked for his surname not to be published, to protect his family at home. “I couldn’t sit back and watch what was happening, women being raped and sold wholesale.”
So in December he traveled to northern Iraq, where he joined a growing band of foreigners leaving behind their lives in the West to fight with new Christian militias against the Islamic State extremist group. The leaders of those militias say they have been swamped with hundreds of requests from veterans and volunteers from around the world who want to join them.
The new arrivals add to a varied array of foreign fighters and donors drawn to the expanding conflict, which has had a brutal impact on Iraq’s minority sects and is threatening Christianity here at its roots. But while they say they welcome the gesture, Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq are wondering how to vet foreign recruits who are clamoring to sign up.
Brett’s group, Dwekh Nawsha, which means “self-sacrifice” in Aramaic, the ancient language spoken by Jesus, has only six Westerners among its 200 Iraqi Assyrian Christian fighters. But Emanuel Khoshaba Youkhana, the secretary general of the Assyrian Patriotic Party, which funds the group, says that more than 900 other foreigners have been in touch to find out how to join.
Retrieved March 3, 2015 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/these-americans-have-headed-back-to-iraq-to-fight-the-islamic-state/2015/03/01/6d881174-b78c-11e4-bc30-a4e75503948a_story.html?hpid=z13