Reports: British Fighter Killed Himself to Avoid ISIS Capture
20-year-old shot himself during Raqqa offensive, say Kurds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2017 3:45 AM CST
File photo of a Kurdish Peshmerga soldier outside the Kurdish city of Irbil, Iraq.   (AP Photo/ Christophe Ena, Pool)

(Newser) – A 20-year-old British man who left his job as a chef to fight ISIS ended up killing himself to avoid capture, family members and Kurdish fighters say. Kurdish sources tell the BBC that Ryan Lock and four other fighters died after they were besieged by ISIS militants during an offensive near Raqqa, Syria. The sources say the fighters put up "considerable resistance." After the bodies were retrieved, they saw evidence that Lock had shot himself under the chin. Lock joined the Kurdish militia in August last year after telling his family he was going on vacation to Turkey, the Telegraph reports.

Lock's body was handed to British authorities this week after a ceremony attended by dozens of Kurdish fighters. Kurdish commanders described him as a "martyr" who died putting up a brave fight. "ISIS [was] robbed of a predictable macabre propaganda opportunity by Ryan's action," Kurdish rights activist Mark Campbell tells the BBC. "I personally believe he deserves the very highest of military honors for such outstanding bravery in the face of such a barbaric enemy." (In January, ISIS destroyed Roman monuments in a recaptured ancient city.)

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