ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A French volunteer fighter with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) was killed on October 6 during the ongoing assault to take over the last remaining Islamic State (IS) stronghold in the east of Syria, the YPG said on Wednesday.
Farid Medjahed (Şahin Qereçox) who was born in Marseilles France, was killed in Deir al-Zor last week. His age or birth date was not made public by the YPG in its statement.
“Since September 10, YPG and YPJ forces have been taking an active part in Operation Cizre Storm, pushing toward the last remaining IS stronghold on the eastern Syrian territory, the town of Hajin in Deir al-Zor province,” the YPG press office said.
“As part of the operation, intense clashes took place between our forces and IS terrorists in villages near Hajin on October 6. In the course of these, our comrade Şahin Qereçox (Farid Medjahed) bravely gave his life,” the YPG affirmed.
Dozens of foreign volunteers coming from abroad joined the YPG over the past few years. Some of them are now involved in the last operation to fight IS in the Deir al-Zor province.
“Taking their part in the revolution, dozens of international fighters have been martyred, as now has our comrade Farid Medjahed, who was born in France and who took the name Şahin Qereçox. During his short stay in Rojava, Şahin showed an ability to adapt quickly,” the statement continued.
“Although he had no previous military experience, he learned fast and constantly strove to improve himself,” the YPG claimed.
The YPG stressed it would continue its fight in the eastern province, where Syrian forces are also located.
“We in the YPG and YPJ honor our heroic martyrs. We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our friend Şehid Şahin Qereçox. We reiterate our promise that we will continue to wage a relentless struggle against every manifestation of terrorism and ensure the safety and future of this region.”
On Oct. 5, families and friends of Dutch volunteer Sjoerd Heeger (Baran Sason) UK volunteer Jack Homs (Şoreş Amanos) and UK volunteer Costas Scurfield (Kemal) and other relatives of fighters that were killed in Syria reportedly visited the northeast of Syria to participate in a ceremony to honor their sons.
Although these foreign fighters traveled to the region to fight the jihadist group, some have been prosecuted, questioned or investigated upon their return to their countries of origin, notably in the UK, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
In some countries, it is illegal to join foreign armed groups embroiled in conflicts abroad, while other nations do not explicitly prohibit fighting with a foreign army or group.
Editing by Nadia Riva