By Theodore Shoebat
An American man named Jordan Matson travelled to Syria and is now fighting ISIS. Here is a picture of him:
According to a report written by Emily Feldman:
Jordan Matson, a U.S. military veteran who quit his job to fight the Islamic State, was wounded in battle shortly after getting to Syria.
But rather than discourage other Americans from coming to the front lines, the 28-year-old from Wisconsin instead turned to Facebook, becoming an intermediary between Kurdish forces and Americans eager to join the battle against jihadi militants.
“I’m ready to stay until the end,” Matson said via Skype, wearing fatigues and a Kurdish scarf draped across his shoulders.
While ISIS recruitment efforts of Westerners is well-documented, less has been written about the other side.
Ever since reports about him began circulating early this month, Matson said many fellow U.S. veterans have reached out asking how they too can come to Syria to fight.
“Veterans did their tours of Iraq. To watch Mosul fall — and to see all that we paid to bring democracy to Iraq fall apart — is hard,” Matson said from a Kurdish military base in northeastern Syria. “Many other veterans are upset.”
The conflict that began in Syria and has now spread into Iraq has been brutal. Tens of thousands have been killed, and hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are on the run. The militant group is holding thousands hostage inside ISIS territory, where it has revived the practice of slavery. Prospects for any rescue are bleak.
Matson recently posted a message to his Facebook page, urging prospective fighters to “be patient as the outcry to join the fight is immense.”
Currently, there are only four known Americans fighting alongside the Kurds in northeastern Syria, according to Kurdish journalist Sinan Cudi. But Matson expects many more to be on their way. “They’re coming,” he said.
Matson had been working odd jobs in Wisconsin — most recently for a food packaging company — when ISIS began its rampage through northern Iraq.
“They were killing Christians, so many innocent people, driving minorities out of their homes,” he recalled.
When ISIS beheaded the American journalist James Foley in August, Matson decided to go to Syria to fight the radical group. And getting there was surprisingly easy. Matson simply combed the Internet to find groups he could join in the battle and eventually settled on the Kurdish group known as YPG.
The YPG had been fighting to push the radical militants from the Kurdish northeast of the country since 2013. Since mid-September, its fighters, who number both men and women, have gained international attention by taking a stand against the more heavily armed ISIS fighters in the town of Kobani.
With just a pair of boots, a change of clothes and five sticks of deodorant in his bag — “I wanted to be prepared,” he said — Matson boarded a flight from Chicago to Istanbul, the gateway for many foreigners who have crossed into Syria to fight.
Rather than continue to the southern province of Hatay, a popular destination for prospective jihadis, he set off for the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, the so-called Kurdish capital of Turkey. Once there, he met the YPG contacts he had met online, who took him across the border — and into the war.
Soon after, Matson was struck by an ISIS mortar which caused minor injuries to his foot and eye and was brought to a hospital. Despite the language barrier, Kurdish families came to check on him and other wounded soldiers every day, eating dinner with them as if they were part of “a big, extended family.”