Azad Cudi, a 34-year-old British national with a Kurdish background, traveled to Syria in 2013 to do social work in the war-torn region, according to the Orion Publishing Group. But as the civil war expanded, he took up arms and became a fighter with the volunteer army—the YPG forces—after they came into conflict with ISIS.
Volunteers ‘With 40-Year-Old Rifles’
Cudi has now written a book, published by Orion, giving his account of how “2,500 volunteer fighters armed with 40-year-old rifles” stood up to “the medievalists of ISIS.”
In the book, “Long Shot: The Inside Story of the Snipers Who Broke ISIS,” Cudi recounts how the jihadi terrorists had “amassed 10,000 men, heavy artillery, tanks, mortars and ranks of suicide bombers” to crush the Kurdish resistance that had risen up in the north to create “a sanctuary of tolerance and democracy.”
“There was only one way for the Kurds to survive,” according to a summary note on the Orion website. “They would have to kill the invaders one by one.”
‘Dream of Freedom’ Kept Alive
The book’s publisher calls the book “a dramatic account of modern war that tells the story of how, against all odds, a few thousand men and women achieved the impossible and kept their dream of freedom alive.”
Cudi wrote in an excerpt from the book released by the publisher that around 12,000 ISIS fighters attacked Kobani in 2014 with only 2,500 men and women of the YPG to resist them.
Female fighters in the ranks of the YPG are renowned for their willingness to engage in battlefield operations.
The jihadists were equipped with artillery, mortars, tanks and heavy machine guns, writes Cudi.
They also had mobile battle kitchens and surgeries, even social media managers and investment specialists to manage their trade in pillaged oil and artifacts, writes Cudi.
“We lacked the most basic equipment, right down to binoculars and radios, ate whatever we found in the kitchens of abandoned houses and armed ourselves with forty-year-old Kalashnikovs and a few boxes of ammunition.
“If surviving these odds was already a figurative long shot, our meagre tools ensured it would also require literal ones.
“Sniping—killing the invaders one by one—was one of the few tactics available to us.”
Cudi wrote that he has always been reluctant to put a figure on his number of kills.
“I have often been asked how many we killed. I always refused to answer,” he said, adding that it is impossible “to describe all the hate, loss, sacrifice and love in war with a number.”
He added, however, that “only to set the matter aside, let me say at the outset that in eight months, our snipers decimated them,” adding that he, personally, killed 250 ISIS extremists, while a fellow sniper shot dead as many as 500.
“Herdem killed 500, Hayri 350 and me 250, making more than a thousand between us.”
Cudi says that in his book, he set out “to explain how we accumulated these terrible numbers” so as to give context to the long fight against the terrorist group in Syria as the coalition of forces allied against ISIS prepares to deliver a final death blow to the crumbling so-called “caliphate.”
An Associated Press team in Baghouz, a village near the Iraqi border where ISIS is making its final stand, reported how on Feb. 20 a convoy of trucks carrying hundreds of civilians, including men, women, and children, left the enclave, signaling a possible end to the standoff.
Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces—the U.S.-backed militia spearheading the fight against ISIS in Syria—confirmed the trucks were carrying civilians out of the enclave.
Bali said on Tuesday that a military operation aimed at ousting the extremists from the area will begin if they don’t surrender.
ISIS has been reduced from its self-proclaimed caliphate that once spread across much of Syria and Iraq at its height in 2014 to a speck of land on the countries’ shared border.
The SDF has been encircling the remaining ISIS-held territory for days, waiting to declare the terrorist group’s territorial defeat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.