Former members of the United States military are being recruited by the Kurds to join the Peshmerga by signing up via an online application. The website is designed to recruit western warriors, Americans particularly. According to The Daily Beast, the website is part of a larger recruiting program called the Kurdish Peshmerga foreigner registration assessment management and extraction program or F.R.A.M.E for short.
The program is made to offer requirements and expectations to Westerner recruits and also allow Peshmerga to perform background searches on applicants to make sure there are no potential ISIS operatives.
A former U.S. Marine, who recently flew to the Kurdish region, described his travel.
“When I arrived they were giving me a hard time at the airport because of all the gear I had brought. So, I lied. I flashed an old reserve ID I still had and told them I was on orders. It worked. That was three weeks ago.”
Another Marine who was stopped and questioned by the FBI at a Chicago airport said,
“They took my body armor and asked me a few questions. I don’t know how they knew I was coming, but they did.”
Despite not revealing his unit of name, the man still wore a U.S. Marine Corps globe and anchor on his body armor that he claims he acquired locally. Both men flew directly to Sulaymaniya, a Kurdish region city with an international airport.
The Peshmerga application website describes the joining process,
“When you come to Kurdistan our team will pick you up at the airport. You will be met by fellow Americans/Brits. You will be securely transported to the barracks. You will spend a minimum of a week with us to shake off the jet lag, train at the range, finish your processing, assign you your weapon and ammunition, and ensure your family at home has all necessary emergency contact information to us (if your loved ones need you for an emergency purpose and they cannot reach you, they may call us as we know where each of you are stationed and we can get the message to you as promptly as possible). Lastly, during this process we will be evaluating your skill set you provided, mental state, and leadership ability.”
These veterans, along with twelve other Americans of mixed military backgrounds, form the only known group of American volunteers that fight against ISIS on a daily basis.
Numerous videos have surfaced of the group fighting ISIS, including one of Navy veteran and Peshmerga volunteer Chris Toney along with nine other americans, which thoroughly shows the intensity of the combat against the Islamic State.