Last month we interviewed Erwin Stran on SOFREP radio about his time as a volunteer fighter with the Kurdish YPG militia in Northern Syria and then with the Peshmerga in Kurdistan.  Erwin has recently published a memoir about his time in the Middle East called “CAB Hunter.”  Below is a excerpt of the book that Erwin shared with us.  CAB Hunter is now available on

The first few shots we took were actually at a mosque that was about the same distance but further south. Keniwar was helping us out with spotting and had asked after the first shot where we were aiming. Of course we told him and he looked back in concern. He wasn’t religious at all, but still he was not to thrilled we were using the mosque to zero. Azad then said to him that he’ll only need a couple more to get good. Keniwar looked back at the mosque briefly then back to us.

“Maybe one or two more…it’s no problem,” he said.

It didn’t matter anyway. Every shot taken would jump that Chinese optic out of whack. So Azad just cracked it out the furtherest it would hold and started to walk the rounds onto the backhoe. The second to last round he fired, Erîş reported ‘no impact.’ However, he said the operator of the vehicle had jumped out of it. We assumed he had heard the shot pass by and got out of there, but the vehicle was still functional. Azad made his adjustments and took aim one last time. Impact! We started to see white smoke coming from the vehicle. Seconds later, black smoke and a massive fireball exploded from the back of the vehicle. Azad figured he hit the hydraulic system which ended up catching fire. We screamed in excitement, and the Kurds with us rejoiced, patting Azad on the back. That’s a mobility kill. Should slow daesh down a bit.

In the middle of our celebration, Erîş, still on the berm, yelled back, “We got movement!” Azad laid back down behind his rifle and I beside him as Erîş began to describe what he was seeing. “We got two DShK trucks rolling in from the north. They’ve stopped beside the target.” As we watched, a group of five or six men jumped from the trucks to examine what had just happened. They had stood for a minute before they started to scream. Loud. We could hear them over the large distance. They were yelling and screaming that infamous phrase, allahu akbar. Even from that distance, you could hear them clear as day. It was nothing but open field. So there was nothing in the way to break up the sound. Azad jokingly whispered, “Huh… I guess we killed their favorite dozer.”