Azad Cudi is a British national from a Kurdish background. He grew up in eastern Kurdistan, where he was conscripted into the Iranian army and escaped to the UK aged just 19. He was granted asylum and citizenship, learnt English and began working as a journalist for the Kurdish diaspora media. In 2011, he was working for a television station in Stockholm when the Syrian civil war broke out and the Kurds established their autonomous enclave of Rojava. Azad's response was to fly out to Syria and work as a provincial administrator, but as the civil war expanded he became a fighter in the volunteer army, the YPG, part of the 68-country anti-ISIS coalition, deploying as a sniper in the victorious battle to save Kobani. He now lives in the UK.