Iraq: Protection unit formed against the Islamic State

Source: FSSPX News

Some Assyrian Christians on the Plain of Nineveh, in northern Iraq, are starting a Nineveh Plain Protection Unit (NPU) against the jihadists of the Islamic State (IS). The unit, a battalion of between 350 and 500 men, was trained by Sons of Liberty International, a private American military service association founded by the American Matthew VanDyke. The organization’s website claims that it provides at no cost “training in security and military training for the local defense forces that protect their people from terrorists and insurgents throughout the world”.

Matthew VanDyke, age 35, a former film director, fought alongside the rebels in the Libyan civil war. The film Point and Shoot, which traces his three-year motorcycle trip through North Africa and the Middle East, his armed combat against Gaddafi alongside the rebels and his five months as a “prisoner of war” in Libyan jails, was named best documentary at the film festival in Tribeca (New York) last year. VanDyke explains that the executions of his fellow-Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff by IS convinced him to act in Iraq.

The Nineveh Plain Protection Unit’s project Restore Nineveh Now is financed by foreign Christian groups, including the American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO), founded by the Assyrians in California (United States). David Lazar, president of the AMO, explained to the news agency AFP that $250,000 has already been collected for the NPU, 80% of which from donors in the United States. However, on February 25, 2015, Jeff Gardner, director of communications for Restore Nineveh Now, announced in a press release the end of VanDyke’s training mission, because he “used the NPU as a means of promoting himself and his enterprise, SOLI”.

(Sources: apic/sonsoflibertyinternational/restoreninevehnow/afp – DICI no. 312 dated March 13, 2015)

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