RAQQA, Syria – Several U.S. and British volunteer fighters are on the front lines in the battle against the Islamic State group for the Syrian city of Raqqa.
They joined U.S.-allied militias in Syria for different reasons, some motivated by testimonies of survivors of the unimaginable brutality that IS flaunted in establishing its self-proclaimed caliphate.
For Taylor Hudson, a 33-year old from Pasadena, IS extremists "represent everything that is wrong with humanity."
Macer Gifford, a 30-year former City broker in London, came to Syria three years ago to volunteer first with the Kurdish militia. Now he is fighting with an Assyrian militia, also part of the U.S-backed forces battling IS militants.
He says: "I am here defending the people of Syria against terrorists."
The U.S.-backed forces launched the push on Raqqa in June.