Former British Army soldiers going to fight Isis in Syria in 'International Volunteer Force'

The group said Isis must be defeated for 'freedom and democracy'

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The Independent Online

A team of former British Army soldiers are reportedly preparing to leave the UK to fight Isis in Syria.

Eight ex-servicemen have formed what they call IVFOR (the International Volunteer Force) and have bought combat fatigues and high-powered assault rifles to prepare for their mission, the Evening Standard reported.

One member told the newspaper the unit was open to English-speaking volunteers from any country and will be in Syria “within weeks” after honing their skills with daily training.

“Although we wear a similar uniform to UK armed forces, we have no association to them other then the fact that we are ex-armed forces,” he added.

“We will deploy a strong force to aid the Kurdish militias. We intend to work as one effective, rather than split or tag onto other militia units. We intend to be a serious asset.”

The former soldier did not release his identity or that of his comrades because of fears they would be prevented from travelling to Syria.

The 'IVFOR' have created their own symbol picturing a sword and lightning and the slogan Cita et Certa - Swift and Sure

Claiming the British government, which is part of a US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against Isis and training Kurdish and Iraqi soldiers, was not doing enough to fight the so-called Islamic State, he said it must be defeated in the name of “freedom and democracy”.

Up to 100 Western fighters from Britain, the US, Australia and Europe are believed to have travelled to battle Isis in Iraq and Syria.

Earlier this month, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield became the first UK citizen to be killed fighting the Islamist group.

The 25-year-old, a former Royal Marine from Barnsley, is believed to have died from a mortar wound while fighting militants in the frontline village of Tek Khuzela, Syria.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield died earlier this month

His family paid tribute to their son, saying: “His flame might have burned briefly but it burned brightly with love, courage, conviction and honour.”

Mr Scurfield is believed to have been recruited by a group called the Lions of Rojava, arriving at their Syrian base in December where they met other foreign fighters.

Other Britons believed to be fighting Isis include 28-year-old Macer Gifford and former bouncer Tim Locks, from Staines.

The Home Office warned that anyone who travels abroad in order to join conflicts may be prosecuted, whatever side they are fighting on.

“The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq,” a spokesperson said.

“Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger.

“The best way to help the people of these countries is to donate to registered charities that have ongoing relief operations, not by taking part in a conflict overseas, which can be an offence under both criminal and terror laws.”

An 18-year-old man suspected of planning to travel to join Isis in Syria was arrested in Birmingham today, hours after three other British teens detained in Turkey were released on bail.

'Jihadi John' is believed to be 26-year-old Londoner Mohammed Emwazi

The arrests are signs of increasingly strenuous efforts by police to stop the flow of radicalised young Britons to the Middle East.

Security agencies have been criticised for failing to prevent three London girls from making the same journey last month.