ALEPPO – The leadership of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Wednesday announced the death of an American volunteer who was fighting in its ranks against the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in northern Syria.
Jordan MacTaggart, who left Colorado in 2014 to join the YPG and fight ISIS under the nickname Ciwan Firat, was reportedly killed during the battle against ISIS in the city of Manbij.
Manbij used to be a jihadi pocket on the Syrian-Turkish border. Now the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) –which includes the YPG– is controlling over 95% of the city, while ISIS takes hundreds of civilians hostage to prevent further advance by the US-backed forces.
“Ciwan Firat [Jordan MacTaggart] keenly participated in every single operation possible,” said YPG member Baz Andok, a friend of MacTaggart.
“In one of his first contacts with the enemy [ISIS], he got shot in the leg and due to some unfortunate circumstances he was left in the field when his unit withdrew. He put on his tourniquite on and crawled back to friendly lines the entire night. Amongst the foreign fighters in Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region] this story became a legend, until today people talk about `the American kid that got shot in the leg and crawled out all night`.”
“Heval [comrade] Ciwan was a great fighter and a good friend who was taken from us way too soon,” Andok said. “I always had the feeling that Heval Ciwan [Jordan MacTaggart] was where he belonged, that he found his second home in the YPG, while many other foreign volunteers were just passing through.”
Last week, the YPG reported the death of two other western fighters in Syria.
The British volunteer Dean Carl Evans [nicknamed Gîvara Rojava] and Slovenian volunteer Martin Gruen [nicknamed Rodî Çekdar] were reported dead while fighting as part of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against ISIS in Manbij.
“Many international fighters joined our forces. Two men, Heval [comrade] Givara, a British man and Heval Rodi, a slovenian man came with the noblest of intentions and planted a seed of love into the hearts of our friends and all the peoples of Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region],” the YPG leadership said in a statement last Tuesday.
Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish leader Salih Muslim said that foreign volunteers join the YPG forces to protect humanitarian values, and to fight ISIS extremists, “who are a danger to all humanity,” he said.
“The Kurds are very happy with these foreign fighters. They do not feel alone, in the past the Kurds only had mountains, but now we have Americans, British, French and Germans, and many of them were martyred,” he added.
Reporting by: Helin Saeed
Source: ARA News
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