The IDF soldier who fought ISIS

American Jew who fought in the IDF tells of the time he spent fighting ISIS in Syria, and how he arrived there in the first place.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Fighting in Syria (illustrative)
Fighting in Syria (illustrative)

Yonatan Leibovitch, a US citizen who also served in the IDF's Givati Brigade, arrived in Syria to join the fight against ISIS, Israel's Channel 10 TV reported.

Leibovitch's decision came after ISIS carried out a terror attack near his home in 2015. He is believed to be the only Israeli to participate in the fighting against ISIS in Syria.

"They came to my house, so I decided to go to their house," he told Channel 10 TV. "The attack was half an hour from my home."

"I'm very trained in fighting, so I flew to Iraq, I spent a few days in a secured house, and from there I was smuggled across the Syrian border."

During the six months he fought in Syria, Leibovitch freed a group of Yazidi women who had suffered sexual abuse, saved fighters from death, miraculously survived heavy fire, and did not hide his Jewish identity from either the rebels who embraced him or from the shocked ISIS captives.

The only time he cried was when he saw two 12-year-old girls in a small cage. Initially, the girls were afraid to go with Leibovitch's group, but eventually they understood that their rescuers meant well and agreed to go.

"I wanted to help - as much as possible - the children, women, and elderly innocent people, who are killed every day," he told Channel 10 TV.

After a year of fighting, Leibovitch realized the toll it was taking on him and decided to return home.

"I needed to rest," he said. "I couldn't stay there any more. It was the craziest period in my life, and it changed me and how I see the world and the people around me."