Peshmerga volunteers document fight against Daesh via Instagram

Published May 26th, 2016 - 15:53 GMT

Rate Article:

 
PRINT Send Mail
comment (0)

Mike and Hirani are not your average twenty somethings. Both born in Iraq to Kurdish parents, they came back to the land of their origins to fight against Daesh (ISIS) with the peshmerga (military of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region) in 2015. Better known as @peshmerganor (peshmerga Norway) and @peshmergaswe (peshmerga Sweden) on Instagram, Mike and Hirani were living in their respective Scandinavian nations-where they came with their families as children-when Daesh swept through Iraq in 2014, including much of the country’s Kurdish region. Now, they serve in the Dohuk anti-terror unit in Baqofah, Iraq, just under 7 km (4.3 miles) from Daesh-held Batnay. They document their fight on Instagram, which they say is how they finance their stays in the country as volunteers. WARNING: some images are graphic. Continue reading below »

View as list
Mike and Hirani on the frontline during the battle for Tel Eskof on May 3rd. Daesh led a deadly attack on this day, taking Tel Eskof for several hours before being driven out. How do they take pics during battle? Helmet cams, they say. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 1 of 9:  1 / 9Mike and Hirani on the frontline during the battle for Tel Eskof on May 3rd. Daesh led a deadly attack on this day, taking Tel Eskof for several hours before being driven out. How do they take pics during battle? Helmet cams, they say. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Enlarge
A peshmerga soldier and a dead Daesh fighter after May 3rd’s battle for Tel Eskof. Tel Eskof is a primarily Christian village that has been abandoned (aside from peshmerga and Christian paramilitaries) since 2014 when Daesh first attacked it. Tel Eskof is just over 3 km (almost 2 miles) from Baqofah. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 2 of 9:  2 / 9A peshmerga soldier and a dead Daesh fighter after May 3rd’s battle for Tel Eskof. Tel Eskof is a primarily Christian village that has been abandoned (aside from peshmerga and Christian paramilitaries) since 2014 when Daesh first attacked it. Tel Eskof is just over 3 km (almost 2 miles) from Baqofah. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Enlarge
Hirani in a hole created after the battle for Tel Eskof. He wouldn’t tell his followers how it was created. “Let’s see if someone can guess what the hell happened in this picture,” he wrote in the caption. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 3 of 9:  3 / 9Hirani in a hole created after the battle for Tel Eskof. He wouldn’t tell his followers how it was created. “Let’s see if someone can guess what the hell happened in this picture,” he wrote in the caption. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

Enlarge
Hirani taking a break from the fighting. Mike and Hirani blur out their faces for security reasons, and decline to give their real names to Al Bawaba and other media outlets, opting to use a nom du guerre. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 4 of 9:  4 / 9Hirani taking a break from the fighting. Mike and Hirani blur out their faces for security reasons, and decline to give their real names to Al Bawaba and other media outlets, opting to use a nom du guerre. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

Enlarge
Baqofah, Iraq where Mike and Hirani serve. “Things have been relatively quiet since (the Tel Eskof battle),” Mike told Al Bawaba. “(There’s) the regular shelling of our front by the enemy and the coalition jets bombing them back.” (Adam Lucente/Al Bawaba)
Reduce

Image 5 of 9:  5 / 9Baqofah, Iraq where Mike and Hirani serve. “Things have been relatively quiet since (the Tel Eskof battle),” Mike told Al Bawaba. “(There’s) the regular shelling of our front by the enemy and the coalition jets bombing them back.” (Adam Lucente/Al Bawaba)

Enlarge
Mike treating a wounded Daesh fighter captured by the peshmerga during the battle for Tel Eskof. Mike received some medical training while serving in the Norwegian army. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 6 of 9:  6 / 9Mike treating a wounded Daesh fighter captured by the peshmerga during the battle for Tel Eskof. Mike received some medical training while serving in the Norwegian army. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Enlarge
Mike’s girlfriend in Norway. “My favorite picture is probably the one of my girlfriend at the Aker river in Oslo,” Mike told Al Bawaba. “It means a lot to me because we spent the day together walking up the river, eating pastries, drinking tea, feeding the birds and that is my definition of a perfect day.” (@peshmerganor/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 7 of 9:  7 / 9Mike’s girlfriend in Norway. “My favorite picture is probably the one of my girlfriend at the Aker river in Oslo,” Mike told Al Bawaba. “It means a lot to me because we spent the day together walking up the river, eating pastries, drinking tea, feeding the birds and that is my definition of a perfect day.” (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Enlarge
Hirani drinking his beloved Wild Tiger energy drink. 'Life is a bit harder now (after the Tel Eskof attack) because that shop that we used to buy energy drinks and snacks from is now gone due to the attack,' he told Al Bawaba. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 8 of 9:  8 / 9Hirani drinking his beloved Wild Tiger energy drink. "Life is a bit harder now (after the Tel Eskof attack) because that shop that we used to buy energy drinks and snacks from is now gone due to the attack," he told Al Bawaba. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

Enlarge
Mike with two older peshmerga. For Mike and Hirani-who finance their service as peshmerga volunteers via donations-their Instagram followers are important. “My Instagram followers mean everything to me, because I couldn’t afford staying here without their financial support,” he said to Al Bawaba. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)
Reduce

Image 9 of 9:  9 / 9Mike with two older peshmerga. For Mike and Hirani-who finance their service as peshmerga volunteers via donations-their Instagram followers are important. “My Instagram followers mean everything to me, because I couldn’t afford staying here without their financial support,” he said to Al Bawaba. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Enlarge

1

Mike and Hirani on the frontline during the battle for Tel Eskof on May 3rd. Daesh led a deadly attack on this day, taking Tel Eskof for several hours before being driven out. How do they take pics during battle? Helmet cams, they say. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Image 1 of 9Mike and Hirani on the frontline during the battle for Tel Eskof on May 3rd. Daesh led a deadly attack on this day, taking Tel Eskof for several hours before being driven out. How do they take pics during battle? Helmet cams, they say. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

2

A peshmerga soldier and a dead Daesh fighter after May 3rd’s battle for Tel Eskof. Tel Eskof is a primarily Christian village that has been abandoned (aside from peshmerga and Christian paramilitaries) since 2014 when Daesh first attacked it. Tel Eskof is just over 3 km (almost 2 miles) from Baqofah. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Image 2 of 9A peshmerga soldier and a dead Daesh fighter after May 3rd’s battle for Tel Eskof. Tel Eskof is a primarily Christian village that has been abandoned (aside from peshmerga and Christian paramilitaries) since 2014 when Daesh first attacked it. Tel Eskof is just over 3 km (almost 2 miles) from Baqofah. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

3

Hirani in a hole created after the battle for Tel Eskof. He wouldn’t tell his followers how it was created. “Let’s see if someone can guess what the hell happened in this picture,” he wrote in the caption. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

Image 3 of 9Hirani in a hole created after the battle for Tel Eskof. He wouldn’t tell his followers how it was created. “Let’s see if someone can guess what the hell happened in this picture,” he wrote in the caption. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

4

Hirani taking a break from the fighting. Mike and Hirani blur out their faces for security reasons, and decline to give their real names to Al Bawaba and other media outlets, opting to use a nom du guerre. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

Image 4 of 9Hirani taking a break from the fighting. Mike and Hirani blur out their faces for security reasons, and decline to give their real names to Al Bawaba and other media outlets, opting to use a nom du guerre. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

5

Baqofah, Iraq where Mike and Hirani serve. “Things have been relatively quiet since (the Tel Eskof battle),” Mike told Al Bawaba. “(There’s) the regular shelling of our front by the enemy and the coalition jets bombing them back.” (Adam Lucente/Al Bawaba)

Image 5 of 9Baqofah, Iraq where Mike and Hirani serve. “Things have been relatively quiet since (the Tel Eskof battle),” Mike told Al Bawaba. “(There’s) the regular shelling of our front by the enemy and the coalition jets bombing them back.” (Adam Lucente/Al Bawaba)

6

Mike treating a wounded Daesh fighter captured by the peshmerga during the battle for Tel Eskof. Mike received some medical training while serving in the Norwegian army. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Image 6 of 9Mike treating a wounded Daesh fighter captured by the peshmerga during the battle for Tel Eskof. Mike received some medical training while serving in the Norwegian army. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

7

Mike’s girlfriend in Norway. “My favorite picture is probably the one of my girlfriend at the Aker river in Oslo,” Mike told Al Bawaba. “It means a lot to me because we spent the day together walking up the river, eating pastries, drinking tea, feeding the birds and that is my definition of a perfect day.” (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Image 7 of 9Mike’s girlfriend in Norway. “My favorite picture is probably the one of my girlfriend at the Aker river in Oslo,” Mike told Al Bawaba. “It means a lot to me because we spent the day together walking up the river, eating pastries, drinking tea, feeding the birds and that is my definition of a perfect day.” (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

8

Hirani drinking his beloved Wild Tiger energy drink. 'Life is a bit harder now (after the Tel Eskof attack) because that shop that we used to buy energy drinks and snacks from is now gone due to the attack,' he told Al Bawaba. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

Image 8 of 9Hirani drinking his beloved Wild Tiger energy drink. "Life is a bit harder now (after the Tel Eskof attack) because that shop that we used to buy energy drinks and snacks from is now gone due to the attack," he told Al Bawaba. (@peshmergaswe/Instagram)

9

Mike with two older peshmerga. For Mike and Hirani-who finance their service as peshmerga volunteers via donations-their Instagram followers are important. “My Instagram followers mean everything to me, because I couldn’t afford staying here without their financial support,” he said to Al Bawaba. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Image 9 of 9Mike with two older peshmerga. For Mike and Hirani-who finance their service as peshmerga volunteers via donations-their Instagram followers are important. “My Instagram followers mean everything to me, because I couldn’t afford staying here without their financial support,” he said to Al Bawaba. (@peshmerganor/Instagram)

Reduce

By Adam Lucente

Advertisement

Add a new comment

 avatar