Turkey court releases former UK soldier on bail in YPG trial

He faces a jail sentence of up to ten years if found guilty for having teamed up with Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - A Turkish court on Saturday decided to release on bail a British national who in 2015 joined Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq.

Detained in July while on holiday in the Aegean province of Aydin in Turkey, the man identified as Joseph Robinson, a former British soldier, is accused of having engaged in "terrorist" activity for fighting with the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Arrested along him was a Bulgarian ethnic Turk woman named Mira Y. A. and her mother Veselina P. R. A. whom the authorities released after an interrogation.

"I received arms training from the YPG [People's Protection Units] for three months but never engaged in combat," Robinson initially told the police.

He faces a jail sentence of up to ten years if found guilty, the privately-owned Turkish Ihlas news agency said.

His Bulgarian fiancee is also charged with terrorist propaganda in the same case.

Pictures of the detainee and those of Mira on their social media accounts showing them in Kurdish military clothes were used as evidence for "membership in a terror group."

Hundreds of Westerners and other foreigners have joined Kurdish Peshmerga and YPG forces battling the IS in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

Scores of them, including Americans, British, Germans, and Australians have died in combat against the self-declared Islamic Caliphate.

Turkish authorities have previously detained several other volunteers who teamed up with the Kurds.


Editing by Ava Homa