Saturday, June 13, 2015
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Westerners join Kurds fighting Islamic State group in Iraq
SINJAR, Iraq (AP) — As Kurdish fighters gathered around a fire in this damp, frigid mountain town in northwestern Iraq, exhausted from battling the Islamic State group, a surprising recruit wearing a tactical vest with the words "Christ is Lord" scribbled on it joined them. The fighter, with a sniper rifle slung over his shoulder and a Rambo-styled bandanna around his head, is 28-year-old Jordan Matson from Sturtevant, Wisconsin, a former U.S. Army soldier who joined the Kurds to fight the extremist group now holding a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria. "I'm not going back until the fight is finished and ISIS is crippled," Matson told The Associated Press, using an alternate acronym for the militant group. "I decided that if my government wasn't going to do anything to help this country, especially Kurdish people who stood by us for 10 years and helped us out while we were in this country, then I was going to do something."