For­mer U.S fe­male sol­dier to join Pesh­merga troops in Kur­dis­tan

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

A mother-of-three from North Carolina is the lat­est Westerner to vol­un­teer to fight against the Is­lamic State in Kur­dis­tan.

Sa­man­tha John­ston, 25, from Emer­ald Is­land, who pre­vi­ously served in the US Army, is be­lieved to have joined the Kur­dish Pesh­merga troops, who are bat­tling IS in north­ern Iraq and Syria.

She said she wanted to fight IS be­cause: "I de­cided to come and fight be­cause I felt like it was my duty."

The Times re­ports that pic­tures of Ms John­ston, a di­vorced mother of a five yearold and three-year-old twins, car­ry­ing a ri­fle and wear­ing mil­i­tary fa­tigues have been cir­cu­lat­ing on Kur­dish news web­sites.

Ac­cord­ing to her US Army record Sa­man­tha Lois Jay John­ston served from 20082011 as a geospa­tial en­gi­neer.

She told the Daily Caller that she cried "all the way to the air­port" and nearly changed her mind about go- ing – but de­cided if she did not go she would never for­give her­self.

"Th­ese chil­dren here, who are home­less, or­phaned; moth­ers and sis­ters have been raped and sold, fa­thers who have been killed, they are suf­fer­ing, and I knew that I couldn’t just sit and do noth­ing."

"I couldn’t look my chil­dren in the eyes and say, 'I didn’t do any­thing to help.'"

Ms John­ston told the site her chil­dren are in ‘a safe place’.

"To me this has noth­ing to do with reli­gion," said Jay. "I am a Chris­tian but I’m pro­tect­ing hu­man­ity. No mat­ter the race or reli­gion."

She told the web­site that she joined the Kur­dish fighters by seek­ing them out. She claims she made "the right con­nec­tions and ver­i­fied they were re­li­able."

Ms John­ston says she plans to start a hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tion af­ter her re­turn so she can con­tinue help­ing the Kur­dish com­mu­nity.

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