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Ohio Air Force Vet Brian Wilson Helps Kurds Fight ISIS in Syria

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An Ohio man who says he went to Syria to help the Kurds fight ISIS is an Air Force veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, a relative said Tuesday. Brian Wilson, 43, left behind an ex-wife and several children to join the Kurdish People's Protection Union, which is also known by the initials YPG. He told a freelance photographer working in Syria that "a few Americans" had joined up with the Kurdish forces battling the blood-thirsty militants.

"Everything has been fine. They're very nice, very accommodating, hospitable. Very good people," he said of his hosts in the northeast Syrian Kurdish city of Qamishli. He said he had not yet engaged in combat.

A Facebook page that appears to be Wilson's contains several references to the Kurdish effort and shows he has Kurdish contacts. A relative said he knew Wilson had gone to Turkey but did not know why. "He's a real big history buff and he has talked about the situation there [in Syria]," the relative said.

Efforts to reach Wilson through the Facebook account were unsuccessful. The Department of Defense could not confirm his service record.

Last week, reports emerged about a 28-year-old Army veteran from Wisconsin who traveled to Syria to join the fight.

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— Tracy Connor

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