British "mercenaries" join fight against Islamic State militants

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By Euronews
British "mercenaries" join fight against Islamic State militants

A former British soldier claims to have joined Kurdish Peshmerga forces in fighting against Islamic State militants.

According to Britain's Observer newspaper James Hughes, 24, from Reading, Berkshire, is in Rojava, northern Syria, helping to defend the beleaguered city of Kobani on behalf of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the YPG.

He claims to have served in the British army and to have carried out three tours of Afghanistan during five years’ service.

According to his Facebook profile, Hughes appears to be fighting Islamic State forces alongside his friend Jamie Read, 26, from Newmains, north Lanarkshire.

Read’s Facebook page reveals that he trained with the French army and he describes having been involved in fierce gunfights against jihadists last week.

Both men say they are not being paid for their involvement in the campaign.

The Home Office said that it does “not hold data on British nationals fighting with the Kurds in Syria/Iraq” however security experts estimate that about 500 Britons have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for jihadists.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports their legal status has been called into question by Britain’s former solicitor general who believes they could be “charged with murder”.