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Kurdish YPG says three foreign members killed in Syria

Turkey launched operation "Olive Branch" on 20 January in the Syrian region of Afrin. [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 February, 2018

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Three foreign members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been killed in Syria, including two in the northern enclave of Afrin.
Three foreign members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been killed in Syria, including two in the northern enclave of Afrin.

The Kurdish militia, a backbone of the US-backed force that has fought the Islamic State, named the fighters as French national Olivier Francois Jean Le Clainche, 41, Spanish national Samuel Prada Leon, 25, and Dutch national Sjoerd Heeger, 25.

The YPG said Le Clainche and Leon were killed "in the clashes with the occupiers at the Jandairis front on February 10."

The YPG said the two men had joined their forces in the summer of 2017 to fight IS.

Jandairis lies in a south-western pocket of the Afrin enclave which is the target of a Turkish-led assault against Kurdish forces.

The area, close to Turkey's border, has been fiercely bombarded by Ankara and allied rebels in their nearly month-long assault on the YPG. 

"These two comrades gave great efforts for the liberation of the main bases of IS, such as the cities Raqqa and Deir az-Zour, and they participated continuously in the war lasting for months," it said.

Heeger was killed fighting IS in Syria's eastern Deir az-Zour province on 12 February, the statement added. 

Hundreds of foreigners have fought alongside the YPG in Syria. 

Ankara launched an offensive in the Afrin area of northern Syria last month against the YPG which it considers a terror group but which is allied with US forces in the fight against IS.

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