Paco, Spanish fighter against 'ISIS fascists'

21-year-old a sniper with Kurds in Iraq, arrested in Madrid

14 July, 15:20

    Isis fighters Isis fighters

    (by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) - MADRID, JULY 14 - He was inspired by the 'international brigades' of foreign volunteers who travelled to Spain during the civil war to defend democracy and fight against the fascism of future dictator Francisco Franco.

    And one day, at the beginning of the year, after reading about the atrocities committed by the men fighting on behalf of 'caliph' al Baghdadi against Yazidi civilians in Iraq, of beheaded civilians and the women raped and sold as sexual slaves, he boarded a plane to join Kurdish militias in Iraq. For six months, he was a sniper. He killed ISIS 'beheaders'.

    From a hill of Sinjar, the holy mountain of the Yazidis, he shot at enemy positions - especially at night. ''You look into the telescopic rifle sight and shoot once, twice and then there is one less of them'', he said.

    When he returned to Madrid last week with another Spanish volunteer he was arrested for taking part, unauthorized, in a war abroad - as if he had enrolled with ISIS terrorists instead of fighting them in the name of freedom and human rights, the holiest values in the west.

    He was released almost immediately as he awaits trial. ''I don't understand, I am not a terrorist, they are the terrorists'', he told El Mundo. Paco, who prefers not to reveal his second name to the public, - ''one of them could arrive here while I am here on the street and kill me'' - spoke about the atrocities he saw and of the many companions he lost to ISIS 'fascists''.

    The man said he saw jihadists capture a group of Kurdish youth: ''they shot them in the legs and then closed them up.

    They screamed for hours and bled to death''.

    Paco used to read history at the University of Madrid. He was a militant in a communist group, apparently a shy and calm young man. He read Marx, Lenin and Harry Potter, all books he said he brought with him to Iraq and which he kept reading in between battles. Then he read about the International Brigades of 1936-39.

    ''Those men had nothing to do with us, they didn't ask for anything back and came from France, England, the US to fight against the fascists. There was a lot of generous romanticism, a lot of truth, values that are not abundant today''. In Iraq, he thought about his dear ones, his parents, siblings, girlfriend, during difficult times. ''I told her I was going to fight the jihadists just a few hours before leaving. She left me'', he said.

    At times, tension, fear and desperation took over. ''Looking above a wall could be like a Russian roulette''.

    He said how once a young Kurd with whom he had shared difficult experiences told him: ''It's over Paco''.

    Shortly afterwards, while on patrol, the young man separated from the group and walked straight into a minefield: ''He exploded''. (ANSAmed)

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