American mother of three joins Kurdish troops to fight ISIS
25-year-old Samantha Johnston is one of many foreigners fighting in north Iraq
An American mother of three has left her life back in North Carolina to volunteer in the fight against ISIS militants in Iraq, it was reported on Friday.
25-year-old Samantha Johnston is one of the recent additions to a group of Western volunteers, who have joined the ranks of the Kurdish troops, including the Peshmerga and the YPG (People’s Protection Units).
In recent months Johnston had joined the Kurdish troops that also include other female fighters, after ISIS invaded Sinjar province in Iraq, home to the Yazidi minority groups.
It is believed that as many as 100 foreigners, mostly from Britain and the U.S, have joined join the fight in Iraq against ISIS in recent months, according to British newspaper The Telegraph.
According to the report, Johnston had previously joined the U.S. military but had never served overseas.
U.S. military records also show that Johnston served as a geospatial engineer in 2008 until 2011, but was never engaged in active combat, the report added.
At the start of her journey to Iraq, Johnston found it extremely difficult, saying “I cried on the way to the airport and almost decided not to go, but if I did then I’d never forgive myself," she told the Daily Caller.
Johnston reveals her experiences during her stay in Iraq as she posts daily updates on her Facebook page.
Images of the mother show her smiling at the camera as she poses in full military gear under the caption “keep on training.”
Another image on Facebook shows Johnson in a khaki bulletproof jacket standing among a group of refugee children carrying packs of food aid she says she has distributed.
Most of her Facebook posts focus on the humanitarian outcome of the war in Iraq, which has seen thousands displaced since parts of Iraq fell under the control of ISIS.
In an interview with Daily Caller she said: "These children here who are homeless, orphaned; mothers and sisters have been raped and sold, fathers who have been killed … They are suffering, and I knew that I couldn’t just sit and do nothing. I couldn’t look my children in the eyes and say, I didn’t do anything to help.”
Johnston, who is a divorcee with a five-year-old child and three-year-old twins, has also expressed her desire to return home, saying “I already want to fly back to my babies but I have a purpose and a goal.”