British actor Michael Enright has returned to Syria to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) after his first abortive attempt resulted in “other Western fighters wanting to kill him.”
The one-time Hollywood actor, who featured in box-office hits including ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Knight and Day’, joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in 2015 after receiving military training in Syria.
However, he was reportedly sent back the UK after being accused by fellow fighters of reckless behavior and being “mentally unstable.”
Enright wanted to join the ‘War on Terror’ after 9/11 and considered enlisting in the US Army before friends intervened.
It was almost 15 years later, however, that Enright – who once shared the screen and stage with Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise and Anne Hathaway – was once again driven to action by the video of Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh being burned alive by IS fighters.
He is thought to keep the footage on his phone to watch whenever he feels demotivated.
Speaking to Channel 4 News before his secret return to Syria, Enright said: “Somebody has to stand up. Somebody has got to – as we speak right now, little girls are being raped. We should stand up to that.”
He rebuffed claims that his brothers-in-arms do not think he is up for the job.
“First of all, none of the soldiers I fought with say that at all.
“The only people who have said anything negative were the people I came with from the academy who I came over the hill with – the academy is a place where we train. I came over the hill with four or five guys, they didn’t want me there. I had no military background, I’m an actor – and I didn’t realize they really looked down on that – and I’m old as far as they’re concerned.”
The 52-year-old believes Islamic State’s campaign in Syria is waning. However, like his Hollywood career, he admits his soldiering days are not meant to last forever.
“No, it’s not going to be the rest of my life because one, either I’m going to die over there fighting this time, so in that case I guess it would be. If, God willing, I don’t and I make it out then it won’t be a long fight anyway. ISIS is not going to be around in that area very long in my opinion at all.”
Enright was previously accused of going to Syria with the intent to make a film about his experiences, rather than a true willingness to fight IS.