ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Tuesday confirmed the death of Konstantin G., who was killed by a Turkish airstrike in the city of Serekaniye (Ras al-Ain in Arabic) on October 16.
Konstantin worked as a farmer before leaving Germany to fight in the ranks of the Kurdish-led SDF in 2016 and fought in the liberation of the city of Raqqa where he got injured twice in the battle against the Islamic State. The German Foreign Office, however, told German broadcaster NDR that they had no information about his case.
There was speculation earlier this week on social media that Konstantin, who was given the Kurdish name of Andok, died in battle. The SDF on Tuesday for the first time confirmed his death and identity.
In a TV documentary on foreign volunteers, Konstantin was shown as a member of SDF volunteers fighting the Islamic State and taking care of injured people.
According to a report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), at King’s College in London, published in April, nearly 800 to 900 foreign volunteers have joined the SDF since its inception.
“Many of these individuals have thought deeply, or else had their views evolve over time, before making the journey to the conflict zone,” the report said.It also added that in 2014, German security officials said that 50 fighters joined the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) which spearheads the SDF.
In April 2017, other suggested 204 fighters, of which 69 of German nationality, had joined the YPG, including Kurds and non-Kurds.
Konstantin is not the first German fighter to die in the Syrian civil war. In March 2015, a German woman (19), named Ivana Hoffman died fighting the terrorist organization near Tal Tamr.
In July 2016, 22-year-old German fighter Kevin Joachim (known as Dilsoz Buhar), died fighting the Islamic State in clashes near the town of Suluk near the Turkish border.
In November 2017, another German citizen, Anton Leschek, was killed by a Turkish airstrike near Manbij.
Editing by Nadia Riva