human rights watch

söndag 19 februari 2017

video: Dozens pay tribute to British Ryan Lock, who died fighting Isil in Syria as his body is returned to the UK


video

video: Dozens pay tribute to British Ryan Lock, who died fighting Isil in Syria as his body is returned to the UK
"Ryan Lock, 20, shot himself to avoid being captured by jihadists in northern Syria, near the city of Raqqa - the capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)'s self-declared caliphate - on December 2
On Saturday his body was finally flown back to the UK and arrived at Heathrow Airport as dozens of people from the Kurdish community waited to pay tribute to the man, they describe as "a hero".
As a hearse passed those lining the sides of the road, roses were thrown on to the vehicle and a minute's silence was held.


A Kurdish mother, who had lost her own son in the struggle, kissed the vehicle as it went passed.
Mr Lock, from Chichester, West Sussex, had no previous military experience when he joined the Kurdish People's Defence Units (YPG) militia as a volunteer last summer after telling his family he was going on holiday to Turkey in August.
Macer Gifford, another British fighter with the YPG, said Mr Lock, alongside four comrades, found themselves surrounded by Isil fighters during a firefight in the village of Jaeber.
Mr Lock is understood to have shot himself in the head to avoid being taken captive by Isil and used as a propaganda tool, as has happened to other Western hostages.
The other three men, who included a Canadian volunteer, were shot dead by the militants.
The community paid tribute to him on social media, one person tweeted: "You will live in our hearts forever.
In January the YPG held a funeral for Mr Lock in northern Syria.
Photographs showed a coffin draped in the Union flag with a picture of the young fighter in army fatigues. His body was handed over to officials from the British Consulate in neighbouring Iraq earlier this month in preparation for him to be brought back to the UK, where he arrived on Saturday.
His friend Mr Gifford said: "Ryan Lock deserves a medal for bravery. In a time when the word 'hero' is used for reality and sporting stars, here was a young man that travelled across the world to battle the evil Islamic State."
Mihyedin Xirki, a YPG commander, described Mr Lock - who used the nom de guerre Berxwedan Givara - as a "martyr" who died "putting up a brave fight".
"We bless the resistance of British martyr Berxwedan Givara for the families of all martyrs and the British people," Gen Xirki said in a statement.
Mr Lock is the third Briton to be killed fighting the terrorist group in northern Syria alongside the YPG, which is considered the US-led coalition's strongest ally in the fight against Isil.
Konstandinos Scurfield, a 25-year-old former Royal Marine from Barnsley, was killed by mortar fire in the northeast Syrian town of Tel Hamis in March.
Dean Evans, a 22-year-old farmer from Warminster, was hit by an explosive device last July in the city of Manbij.

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