Wednesday, January 19

British chef killed in Syria while fighting ISIS



A British chef killed in Syria while fighting against ISIS may have turned his gun on himself to avoid being captured, it has been reported.

Ryan Lock, 20, told his family he was going on holiday before revealing in a Facebook post he was heading to the war-torn country.

He had no military experience but joined the Kurdish armed forces, the YPG, on a voluntary basis.

Ryan was killed last December during an operation by anti-Islamic State forces in Raqqa.

Now sources have told the BBC, a post-mortem exam indicates Ryan suffered a gunshot wound under the chin suggesting a possible suicide.

Kurdish rights activist Mark Campbell from told BBC South: Ryan Lock may very well have turned his own gun upon himself rather than be taken prisoner by ISIS.

There are no words to describe the bravery required to take such an action.

ISIS were robbed of a predictable macabre propaganda opportunity by Ryan’s action.

I personally believe he deserves the very highest of military honours for such outstanding bravery in the face of such a barbaric enemy.

Ryan’s family have spoken of their heartbreak at his death and have had difficulty recovering his body.

His father Jon said: “Ryan was a very caring and loving boy who would do any thing to help anyone. He had a heart of gold.

The YPG released a statement offering their condolences to his family.

It said: Ryan joined actively in our offensive against the terror threat that Isis caused upon Rojava, Kurdistan. Here, on the dark hours of 21 December 2016, we lost our brave companion Ryan and four other fighters in Jaeber village.

Ryan was not only a fighter providing additional force to our struggle. In fact, with his experience and knowledge he has been an example for younger fighters.

While he has reached a vast amount of achievement up in our frontlines, Ryan has served the purpose of a very important bridge between us, the Kurds of Rojava. He crossed continents for the destiny of our people and humanity.

After telling family and friends he was going on holiday, Mr Lock revealed his real intentions in a Facebook post on August 31.

He wrote: I’m on my way to Rojava. I lied about going to Turkey. I’m sorry I didn’t tell anyone. I love all of you and I will be back in six months.

In November, he posted a picture of himself with facial injuries, along with the words: We were taking a small village when we got hit by Turkish jets in the night. Two of my friends, Anton and Michael, were killed among many others. I’m staying to finish out my six months. F*** [Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and f*** Turkey.

Raqqa has been under Isis control since early 2014 and has become the symbolic capital of the terror group.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said on Monday: “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.