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Ryan Lock killed in northern Syria during battle to recapture Raqqa

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Ryan Lock

A British man who flew to Syria to earlier to fight ISIS was killed during an intense gun battle just before Christmas, pro-Kurdish media reported.

Ryan Lock, a 20-year-old from Chichester, died during an offensive by anti-Islamic State forces near the city of Raqqa in northern Syria on December 21.

Ryan Lock had no previous military background. He flew to Rojava to join the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG) last August and had planned to spend 6 months there according to his family.

He told them that he was going to Turkey on holiday, but shortly after he published Facebook status where he admitted he was actually flying to Syria to join Kurdish People’s Defence Units in Rojava.

He wrote: ‘I’m on my way to Rojava. I lied about going to Turkey. I am sorry I didn’t tell anyone. I love all of you and I will be back in six months.’

During his time in Rojava, Lock usually posted various images showing him in camouflage gear armed with an assault rifle.

In a statement to the Guardian, Ryan Lock’s father, Jon, said: ‘Ryan was a very caring and loving boy who would do any thing to help anyone. He had a heart of gold. We ask for privacy to allow our family to grieve.’

The YPG also offered condolences to Lock’s family after his death on December 21.

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Syrian Army poised to kick ISIL out of Hama

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Sweeping across the outskirts of the Syrian city of Salаmiyah, Syrian government forces are now poised to move against the last Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) foothold in Hama province.

Syrian army units aided by Qalamoun Shield Forces have managed to seize control of strategic elevated positions on the eastern outskirts of Salаmiyah and are now ready to advance on the town of Uqayribat – the last Daesh stronghold in Hama province.

A source in the Syrian military told Sputnik Arabic that “Syrian army and allied forces managed to secure elevated positions near the village of Salba. These positions allow the army to advance on Uqayribat and to shell Daesh militants entrenched in Salba.”

The source also said that this military operation was further complicated by the fact that the militants used tunnels and rocky terrain features in an attempt to halt the advance of the government forces.

Having secured the road leading to Salamiyah and Raqqa, the Syrian army is now getting ready to deal yet another blow to Daesh forces by liberating Uqayribat.

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Jack Holmes – the British sniper fighting ISIL

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Jack Holmes, who traveled to Syria to fight with the Kurdish YPG group against Islamic State, speaks to Sky News almost a year on from when he left his job as an IT worker to become a sniper.

Jack Holmes, 23, an IT worker from Bournemouth with no military training, already have spent almost a two years with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the militia whose actions in north-eastern Syria have been supported by US-led coalition air strikes.

Jack was injured, hit on the upper right arm by a sniper during a ferocious gun battle with ISIS near the town of Tel Tamer.

Like many Western volunteers, they joined the YPG through social media and flew to Iraq, where they were taken to a ‘safe house’ for a few days before being smuggled across the border to Syria. ‘The training only lasted a few days and didn’t go much beyond learning to strip a Kalashnikov blindfolded,’ said Jack.

Today, take a look how he sees his efforts in Syria and overall conflict from his perspective.

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