Portuguese YPG fighter's body repatriated
QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan24) – On Wednesday, the coffin of a Portuguese fighter with the Syrian Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) was transported to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and then to his family in Portugal.
Brigades of the Syrian Kurdish forces carrying his coffin crossed into Iraqi Kurdistan Region through the border of Faysh Khabur (also known as Semalka).
Speaking to Kurdistan24, Roj Khaboor, a senior commander of Women Protection Units (YPJ), the female wing of the YPG, who escorted the funeral, said that her people were proud and honored to have such a brave and noble comrade.
“Heval Kandal [the Kurdish name for Nunes] was martyred last month in Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan] fighting the terrorists [Islamic State (IS) insurgents] not only for defending Kurds, but for defending humanity,” Khaboor said.
Mario Nunes, a Portuguese fighter who joined the YPG in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) on February10, 2015, was martyred on May 3.
Last year, a Portuguese magazine called SABADO said in an interview with Nunes that he was one of the prominent fighters in the Portuguese Air Force and decided to join the Kurds in Syria to fight terrorism.
“Nunes was the first Portuguese fighter to join the Kurdish forces in Syria and he was fighting at the frontlines, and enjoyed his comrades' company at break times,” SABADO reported.
On the reasons that led Nunes to travel to Syria and join the Kurdish forces of YPG, he told SABADO last year that he wanted to defeat terrorists face to face and saw it as his duty.
“I cannot deny that the war fascinates me. Maybe it's the influence of my father and my uncles, who are almost all in the army or the security forces. I have always been interested in history and this was an opportunity to be part of it rather than reading about it,” he said.
Nunes further explained that he has never fought for money, but rather it was a duty to defend human values.
“I do not see myself as a mercenary because money is not my motivation. I wish to take a gun to contribute to a better world. Some people can contribute with money, with volunteering to heal people. But I have always wished to be one of those who sacrifice blood and fight face to face against the evil people,” Nunes concluded.
YPG or People's Protection Units with the air support by the US-led coalition and dozens of volunteer foreign fighters control most of Rojava presently and are the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
Editing by Ava Homa