A young father says he will travel to Iraq to fight ISIS – despite being warned not to go by British police.
Scott Macleay, 31, said he plans to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and Iraq, despite having no formal military training and no links to Kurdistan.
The father-of-one says he is under no illusions that he may “become a YouTube clip” if he is captured by the Islamic terrorists – who recently published a video of the beheaded body of US aid worker Peter Kassig.
Mr Macleay, of Haverhill, Suffolk, has already been to the region this year in a failed attempt to join the YPG.
He said he plans to go out again because Kurds are being subjected to “absolutely disgusting” treatment – including torture, rape and crucifixion.
But after seeing Mr Macleay’s fundraising page – which will help him pay for flights and military equipment – police visited him to warn him of the dangers of flying out there.
Mr Macleay said: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no illusions.
“I’m not crazy, I don’t have a death wish, this is not some redemptive crusade or anything like that.
“The medical care over there is pretty much non-existent, helmets are pretty much non-existent, there’s hardly any body armour.
“I’m also under no illusions that if I’m captured by ISIS then I will become a YouTube clip. I have fully researched and appraised the situation and I know exactly what I’m getting into.
“Am I scared? I’m not going to lie, I’m a human being at the end of the day. I have emotions like everybody else, but I don’t feel I can stand by and do nothing.”
Mr Macleay said the hardest thing about the deployment was leaving his daughter Mia, two, behind for up to a year, but hoped she would one day understand.
He added: “There are children her age dying every single day, so I would like to think that she gets older she will understand it wasn’t for selfish reasons.”
Though it is not illegal to travel abroad and fight for the YPG, there are other Kurdish forces it would be illegal for him to join.
Suffolk Police declined to comment other than to say officers had been to visit Mr Macleay to offer him advice as laid out by the Foreign Office.