A former asylum seeker has made a remarkable claim that he has shot more than 250 ISIS fighters while he was serving as a sniper with Kurdish forces in Syria.
Azad Cudi, ironically left his native Iran in order to escape military service and went to the UK. He then joined the YPG army in 2013 – a mixed male and female volunteer force working towards liberating Syria from the jihadi forces.
During one of the battles to regain control of the city of Kobani, Cudi claims that he and many others killed hundreds of fighters. He was seriously injured in a rocket blast and returned to the UK.
Later, he wrote a book called ‘Long Shot’ in which he talks about his experience in the war against ISIS. Cudi fled Iran as a 19-year-old. He didn’t want to join the Iranian army and fight against his own people, the Kurds.
But things changed when he saw ISIS taking hold of territory in Syria and his native Kurdistan. He then returned to the Middle East to fight against the growing ‘caliphate’ of ISIS. After receiving training, he hit the front line in 2013.
He said: “I was defending my land, my people, civilians.
“There was a young boy I shot. I had no choice. I had a problem putting myself together after that. I shot one jihadi when he was looking back at me.
“When I was writing the book I was reliving those events and sometimes I could not sleep for three or four nights.”
“I was a little bit paralysed, going back in my mind. I was feeling some sort of regret, but I am not haunted now by the experience of doing those things.
“I was ready to die then and I am ready to die again to fight for my people, our ideas and our community. I have peace in my heart and mind.
“Writing the book has helped me digest what happened, but it was exhausting.”
Cudic also said that he killed almost 250 ISIS terrorists, while mentioning that other snipers took out over 500.
In the book, Cudi also talks about his injury and eventual return from the war. After being in the close vicinity of a rocket strike, he returned to the UK, where he still lives.
The extract states: “Although death is very close you have to think about how to survive, so you fight back.
“You also have to deal with complicated difficult situations, losing your comrades and shooting a comrade by mistake.
“Everyone says that diamonds are made under pressure and I think there is some truth in that.
“You develop a survival mechanism within to cope. You try not to break down, so you keep your head high.
“When I was hit I saw the colour of death. I experienced its wild emotions. This is extraordinary to experience and you appreciate being alive and look at life with a new purpose and meaning.”
Now, even though he is happy in the UK, Cudi hopes to return to Kobani to help rebuild the city from the damages of war.
He is concerned that ISIS supporters could attack him at his home in Britain, however, he is not scared.
Cudi added: “There are sleeper cells which could be anywhere but I have my security and I am careful.
“I am lucky to be living in an open, democratic society and I appreciate my life in Britain.”