British-born man escapes IS in Syria, seeks refuge with Kurdish forces
LONDON, United Kingdom (Kurdistan24) – US-backed Kurdish forces in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) recently granted a British man refuge after he escaped from the Islamic State (IS).
Jack Letts, a 21-year-old British man, was detained by Kurdish fighters and held in a jail controlled by the Kurds.
“I want to see my mum and explain to her some things,” he said.
Letts, a former student from Oxford, converted to Islam as a teenager and told London-based Al-Araby he had “no idea” what would happen to him in prison.
According to the 21-year-old, after three years in IS territory, he evaded the insurgent group’s front lines before finding refuge with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Rojava.
He had left the UK and eventually traveled to Syria where he allegedly joined the insurgent group, though he refutes these claims.
According to Letts, he had not “done anything violent” since traveling to Syria in 2014.
After hearing news of IS’ atrocities, including beheadings and rapes, Letts told his parents the group was “un-Islamic.”
“I believe that [IS] teaches the people a huge creedal [doctrinal] mistake,” he wrote in a message to his parents.
His parents, 55-year-old John Letts and 54-year-old Sally Lane, are anticipating a trial date later this year from the Supreme Court for “funding terrorism.”
The couple, accused of sending hundreds of pounds to their son over a five-month period between 2015 and 2016, said the money was support for his escape from the brutal group.
Letts’ parents revealed they were “immensely relieved” to hear news their son was alive, according to local British media.
“The elation is overwhelming,” his mother said. “This news was what I’d been waiting for three years.”
She added that Letts was now being held in a YPG jail who she called “British allies.”
Regarding his handling with the YPG, Letts said he is “being well-treated and given food” with a television in his cell, and is allowed to contact his parents often.