Macer Gifford

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Macer Gifford
Gifford in Sinjar in 2015
Born
Cambridge
NationalityBritish
OccupationMilitant, aid worker, activist
Known forFighting with People's Protection Units

Macer Gifford (born 1987) is the pseudonym of a British former currency trader who travelled to Syria to fight with the Kurdish YPG militia against the Islamic State group. He took his identity from National Hunt jockey Macer Gifford, the brother of four-time champion jockey Josh Gifford. He spent five months fighting with the YPG in 2015 before returning to the UK in 2015. In 2016 he completed a second tour with the YPG in Syria. Gifford has also given his name as Harry.

Gifford is from Cambridge.[1] He has previously been a Conservative Party councillor,[2] and previously had no military training.[3]

Gifford says that he became concerned about the situation in the Levant in 2014 while working as a currency trader and monitoring the battles between Kurdish forces and ISIS in Kobani and Sinjar. Frustrated at inaction, Gifford decided to travel to Syria to join the YPG: "if I could learn from them and explain and articulate to the West what they’re fighting for, then maybe something good will come out of this."[4]

In 2016, Gifford took part in fighting around Manbij with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who were clearing the city of Manbij of ISIS forces.[5]

After returning from Syria in 2015, he was initially barred from speaking at the University of London Union because the Union's events officer feared that his talk might encourage others to travel to fight in Syria. [6] The decision was reversed after a petition calling on the Union to let Gifford speak was signed by 1,400 people and the Metropolitan Police advised the Union that it was 'legally acceptable' for the event to take place.

Gifford is attempting to set up a medical aid charity. he is currently fighting with the MFS (Syriac Military Council). [7] He is aiming for the organisation to be one of the biggest suppliers of humanitarian aid to Kurdish controlled Northern Syria.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Briton fighting with Kurds against Islamic State defends actions". BBC News. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  2. ^ Quinn, Ben (2016-01-01). "'Britons fighting Islamic State in Syria are the greatest heroes'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  3. ^ "Why Westerners keep joining the fight against ISIS". Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  4. ^ "British banker turned Kurdish fighter launches Syrian aid charity (VIDEO EXCLUSIVE)". RT International. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  5. ^ "An attack on Manbij is an attack on us all". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  6. ^ "A university has reversed its decision to ban a graduate from speaking about fighting Isis in Syria". The Independent. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  7. ^ "Why Westerners keep joining the fight against ISIS". Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  8. ^ "British banker turned Kurdish fighter launches Syrian aid charity (VIDEO EXCLUSIVE)". RT International. Retrieved 2017-03-22.