Grandfather sells possessions to join fight against Islamic State

53-year-old leaves family in Tyne and Wear and flies to Iraq

Meet Jim Atherton - the 53-Year Old Englishman Fighting ISIS
Jim Atherton, a 53-year-old grandfather from Tyne and Wear, has sold almost everything he owns, raising £18,000 to purchase guns and equipment to fight Islamic State.

He left his wife and three children at their family home to fly out to the Middle East and join a voluntary Christian militia organisation set up to fight ISIS.

He sold his car, motorbikes and boat to fly out to Iraq's Kurdistan region and fight jihadists and has admitted he is "prepared to die fighting ISIS".

Despite having no military training and formerly working as a van driver for 20 years, the grandfather-of-two now patrols the frontline armed with a machine gun, grenades and explosives.

Brother died while fighting in Iraq in 2006

He is now part of a militia group called Dwekh Nawsha, which means The Sacrificers, that is made up of those from Europe, the US and Australia who also wish to fight ISIS.

The son of a former soldier, Mr Atherton said he felt compelled to go out and fight ISIS militants after his brother Sean died while fighting in Iraq in 2006.

He said: "It's something I felt I had to do. I wanted my grandkids to know what I'm really about. Watching what IS are doing just beats me up. Nobody seemed to be doing anything about it, so I decided that I would.

"I'm a middle-aged white van man. I thought if I'm going to do anything with myself it's going to be now."

The father-of-three is now based at the Dwekh Nawsha's headquarters in Dohuk, situated just north of Mosul, reports the Daily Mail.

Having been based on the frontline for just over three months now, Mr Atherton claims he has seen combat four times since his arrival.