British actor Michael Enright, who has had a handful of minor roles in Hollywood films, has joined Kurds fighting against Isis in Syria. Enright appeared in a video released by the Kurdish People's Protection Units on 2 June.
The actor was seen wearing military fatigues surrounded by other fighters in a trench firing an assault rifle, the New York Post reported. The YPG, as the group of fighters is known as, posted the video on their Facebook page on Tuesday (2 June).
In the video, Enright asks for weapons and medical aid for the Kurdish fighters, who he refers to as "my havals," the Kurdish word for comrades. Enright, who previously starred as a deckhand on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, says, "Isis are dangerous to every human being alive".
According to ABC News, Enright later appeared in an interview with Dubai-based channel Al Aan TV, where he described why he decided to join the fight against Isis. The actor-turned-fighter said he was motivated to join after seeing videos of the terrorist group beheading US journalists and burning the Jordanian pilot alive.
"They need to be wiped off completely from the face of this earth," the 51-year-old said, noting he was willing to die for the cause. "I didn't come here to run, I came here to fight and if I have to die, then I die. I didn't come here to play games."
Enright, who lives in the United States, said he did not tell his family or Hollywood friends that he was leaving for Syria. According to ABC News, once he reached Syria, he wrote to family and friends to tell them he loved them and that he may not see them again.
Since arriving in Kurdistan, Enright said he has learned about Islam and has adopted the name Mustafa Michael Ali.
The YPG's fight against Isis... and Arab civilians?
Kurdish fighters have become the leading fighting force against Isis in Syria. The YPG has received the help of US-led coalition airstrikes, which has allowed them to liberate dozens of towns and villages from Isis's control in Syria's north east, the Post reported. Several other Westerners have also joined the Kurdish forces in Syria as well as in Iraq.
However, the YPG have also been accused of "burning Arab villages" in northern Syria as part of an alleged ethnic cleansing campaign, The Independent reported on 1 June. According to a report by The Times, Sunni Arab civilians are reportedly fleeing their homes to avoid attacks by the YPG.
In May, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on allegations by Arab villagers that YPG fighters had killed 20 civilians, destroyed and burned down homes in Syria's al-Hasakah providence.
According to the Independent, Syria's north, which has an ethnically mixed population of both Kurds and Arabs, has been captured and re-captured by the YPG, Isis, the Free Syrian Army and several al-Qaeda linked groups.