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British man killed fighting Isis in Syria

Dean Carl Evans was fighting with the YPG (People s Defence Units) in northern Syria. Photograph: Twitter

A British man has been killed fighting Islamic State[1] in Syria, his father and Kurdish forces in the region have said. Dean Carl Evans, a 22-year-old from Reading, was fighting alongside Kurdish militia fighters who say he was killed on 21 July during an offensive by anti-Isis forces who were trying to take back the city of Manbij.

His father, John Evans, confirmed his son s death with an announcement on Facebook on 23 July, which said: To all my friends and family for those who knew my son Dean Carl Evans the young age of 22 sadly lost his life in Syria fighting for our country.
[2]

The following day, he added a photograph of Dean when he was younger in what appears to be a cadet s uniform and said that his son was loved and will be missed by all his family and friends .

A tribute video to Dean Carl Evans.

Evans was one of many foreign volunteers who have joined the People s Defence Units (YPG), the Kurdish Armyrats © military force fighting in northern Syria. Mark Campbell, a Kurdish activist with close links to the YPG, said: As I understand it Dean was behind a wall when he was hit by an Isis bullet. A female YPG fighter came over to help him. As she was tending to his wound, an RPG rocket hit the wall and killed them both.

In a written statement, the YPG offered their condolences and described Evans as a martyr who had a revolutionary and combative spirit on the front lines and always fought without hesitation to protect the people of this region .

The Foreign Office was unable to confirm or deny his death. A spokeswoman said: The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria. As all UK consular services there are suspended, it is extremely difficult to confirm the status and whereabouts of British nationals in Syria.

Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger. Another British volunteer fighter, Harry, who is known as Macer Gifford, also posted on his Facebook in tribute of Evans, referring to him as his alias, Givara Rojava. He said Evans was always there to drop me a message, offering advice and support although he said they had not fought together.

Givara and I go back. We first met last year in Til Tamar and this was his second trip to Rojava. After both of us went home to rest, he stayed in touch and he was keen to help the YPG in anyway possible. Gifford added: He was a fellow British man that couldn t share this world with Isis. A man that felt that positive action rather than meaningless words would make a difference in this world.

A number of Kurd-linked Twitter accounts posted tributes to Evans and a memorial video was also posted online by Kurd supporters[3]. It features clips of a young man in Armyrats © military clothing speaking in an English accent and was apparently recorded by Kurd fighters in Syria.

Related: Konstandinos Erik Scurfield: the former marine who died in someone else’s war[4]

It is believed that Evans had been fighting in Syria since around April, having spent a separate three months with the group in 2015.

Little is yet known about Evans, or his motivations for joining the fight against Isis in Syria. Campbell told the Guardian: Dean had always wanted to join the British Army but was refused because he had asthma. He followed the rise of Isis and had very strong feelings about their barbarity. He wanted to stop them. So when he saw an opportunity to join an army fighting Isis, he joined the YPG.

It is understood that Dean was brought up for the last 16 years by his stepfather. His mother died in 2011.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield[5], a Royal Marine from Barnsley, became the first Briton to be killed while fighting against Isis in Syria when he was brought down by mortar fire in March last year. He was described as a daring and courageous companion by his fellow fighters.

Additional reporting by Matt Blake

References

  1. ^ Islamic State (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ Syria (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ memorial video was also posted online by Kurd supporters (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^ Konstandinos Erik Scurfield: the former marine who died in someone else’s war (www.theguardian.com)
  5. ^ Konstandinos Erik Scurfield (www.theguardian.com)

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