Young, politicised men left Britain in their hundreds to fight in a brutal war overseas. Driven by ideology they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Eschewing notions of nationalism, they threw themselves into the massed ranks of an avowedly international militia formed to fight an undemocratic, brutally oppressive regime. As is the way, foreign powers played a part, providing the volunteers with finance and munitions, all the while using the war to test tactics to eventually deploy on the bigger stage of their own ideologically defined grand, foreign-policy, designs. Clearly perspective matters, but when generalising, the parallels between Syria and the International Brigades of the Spanish civil war appear striking to me. Anyhoo.