Michael Enright, Actor Who Travelled To Syria, Discusses Why He's Returned To Fight Islamic State

'None of the soldiers I fought with said that'.

03/08/2016 20:05

A British actor who abandoned his Hollywood career to fight so-called Islamic State has responded to claims he is “mentally unstable”, just before he secretly returned to Syria to resume fighting.

Michael Enright, had who minor roles in films like Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Knight And Day, was called “violent, mentally unstable” and accused of having been kicked out of four fighting units by a man who was with him in Syria the first time.

Enright, 52, from the Moss Side in Manchester, returned to Syria to fight with Kurdish forces last weekend. On Wednesday evening, Channel 4 News broadcast an interview with him just before he left.

Channel 4 News
Michael Enright being interviewed by Channel 4 News

In June 2015, a man posted to Facebook, saying Enright was “the mentally unstable actor who is in Rojava” and was “is in danger of being killed by one of many westerners and kurds who want to bury him”.

The man wrote: “We have taken the bolt from his Ak [assault rifle] quite some time ago so he runs around taking pictures of himself in the rear saying he killed daesh with a weapon he cant even fire.”

Enright told Channel 4 News: “None of the soldiers I fought with said that at all.

“The only people who have said anything negative were the people I came with from the academy, I came over the hill with.

“The academy is a place we train, yeah. I came over the hill with four or five guys. They didn’t want me there. I had no military background. I was an actor and I didn’t realise they really looked down on that. And I am old so far as they are concerned.” 

He continued: “Their egos were bruised and they didn’t want me there. The YPG weren’t prepared to send me (away). They thought they were going to be in control and they weren’t. Every single one of them went home. I was the last man standing because I was determined.”

After returning from his first time in Syria, Enright tried to return to Hollywood but was detained for six weeks. He was questioned by British police after he was deported back to the UK.

He claims to have donated a captured IS flag to the Imperial War Museum.

During his Channel 4 News interview, he said it was the plight of Yazidis, a religious minority murdered, raped and enslaved by IS soldiers that led him to go to fight.

He said: “Somebody has to stand up. Somebody’s got to. I mean as we speak right now, you know, little girls are being raped. You know we should stand up to that.”

Admitting his career in films was over, he said he was willing to die fighting IS.

He said: “Either I will die over there fighting this time... [but] if, God willing, I don’t, that doesn’t happen and I make it out, then it won’t be a long fight anyway, ISIS are not going to be around in that area very long in my opinion at all.”

When asked if he was going back for the “final push” to take Raqqa, the Syrian city that serves as IS’s de facto capital, Enright said: “Yes, well to take their capital. To take their capital. I mean you know, where’s your country now? Where’s your caliphate?”

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