‘Sons of Liberty’, Helping Iraqi Christians Take on ISIS

604

NPU-leaders-Matthew-VanDyke-SOLI
Sons of Liberty International (SOLI), a security company that trains vulnerable populations to defend themselves against terrorists and insurgents was founded last year. The company was conceived when two of Matthew VanDyke’s friends were beheaded by ISIS. He thought of something to end this ‘scourge of humanity.’ VanDyke is an American documentary film maker, revolutionary and former journalist.

He is in Iraq now, preparing Christians to defend themselves. “I think if you believe in something, you should get out and do something about it rather than just give it a thumbs-up to the television from your sofa,” he said.

With $12000, his own money, VanDyke started Sons of Liberty International in December 2014 and has trained a battalion of 300 men since. It is non profit business model, operating on contributions of public support.

In early May, VanDyke plans to begin another session of training at a secret location. The men are members of Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU), a military force in a primarily Christian region of Iraq where believers face extinction unless they can win the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“The Christian community in Iraq has been pushed around for a long time, and it needs to stop, and I have the right connections and experience to be able to pull something together to help them, so that’s what I’m doing,” VanDyke said.