The Western Volunteers Fighting ISIS

The village had no name. Everyone who had known the name of the village was now dead or had fled. When the Kurdish peshmerga fighters had recaptured the settlement from ISIS that spring, it was so full of booby-traps that they just torched the place rather than deal with it. The town was abandoned now—just somewhere for the men to come scavenge.

“This one’s my house,” Christopher Smith grinned. The former Marine corporal gestured with his battered AK-47 toward a fire-gutted jungle-green villa. All the buildings were like that—vibrant non-sequiturs of blue, yellow, purple. “It’s like Super Mario World,” the 25-year-old remarked.