Ryan Lock, a British man has been killed while fighting the Islamic State in Syria. He told his family that he was going on holiday in Turkey according to reports. He had no prior military experience.
Mr Lock, 20, is said to have died during an offensive to retake the city of Raqqa. He had joined Kurdish militia after leaving his chef position in Chichester. The People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish military force told his family that he was killed on the 21st December, fighting with four others.
Images that have surfaced on Facebook, show Mr Lock sporting combat gear and an AK-47 assault rifle.
His father said he was a very caring boy, while the YPG said he had “crossed continents for the destiny of our people and humanity”.
Speaking to the BBC, his father said their main concern was getting their son’s remains returned to the UK.
He said, “We hope the UK Government will also use all their diplomatic powers to give practical assistance to the family to help bring Ryan’s remains home for burial.”
A Foreign Office 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.”
Syria has been in a state of war for several years, with the Syrian government fighting rebel groups such as IS. Recently, a ceasefire which was negotiated by Turkey and Russia maybe collapsing after rebel groups claim the terms of the agreement are being violated.
Mr Lock is one of many Westerners who have ventured to the Middle East to fight on the side they believe to be the side of good.