Michael Enright was sick and tired of the Islamic State's horrors.

So the 51-year-old British-born actor packed what little belongings he could take with him and made his way to Syria. He wrote his family and friends to tell them that he might never see them again.

"I didn't come here to run, I came here to fight, and if I have to die then I die," Enright told the Dubai-based television station al-Aan.

These days, he is a fighter with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, also known as the YPG. He goes by Mustafa Michael Ali on the front lines of the fight against the Islamic State.

[Islamic State video claims to show burning death of Jordanian pilot]

It's far less comfortable than his life was in America, where the actor from Manchester has pursued a career that landed him a string of minor television and movie roles, including in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Law & Order: L.A."

Enright sleeps on the floor in his dusty military fatigues with his Kalashnikov rifle nearby. His singular focus, he told al-Aan, is killing Islamic State militants.

"ISIS, they need to be wiped off completely the face of this earth," Enright said, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State. "They are a stain on humanity."

"This is a call on humanity to obliterate them," he added.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, volunteers from all walks of life enlisted in the military to fight terrorism. Famously, NFL player Pat Tillman's departure from his professional career to serve in Iraq, and later die in Afghanistan became the stuff of books and movies.

For Enright, it was the beheading of American journalist James Foley that was a turning point.

[James Foley was a journalist who had to be there]

"For me, the biggest regret of my life was not going to Afghanistan when 9/11 happened," he told the Daily Mail. "The beheading videos brought out the same kind of feelings in me, and a real sense that I had a duty to America. I really feel a debt to the country. You know, they welcomed me with open arms."

He added: "And then what added to it all was that it was an Englishman [Jihadi John], that he had an English accent. And I just, it just touched me personally, in a very deep way."

Then came the stories about the rape and killing of the minority Yazidis in Iraq. And the final straw: the Islamic State's video showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive.

"I just thought... I've got to try to right that wrong," he said.


Jordan hits Islamic State with airstrikes as king visits family of pilot burned alive

Islamic State burned a woman alive for not engaging in an ‘extreme’ sex act, U.N. official says

Why the Islamic State’s annihilation of ancient cultures matters

Kurdish fighters in Syria on the march against IS militants

From hip-hop to jihad, how the Islamic State became a magnet for converts

In a propaganda war against ISIS, the U.S. tried to play by the enemy’s rules