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  1. ITV Report

Jac Holmes: Briton who travelled to fight so-called Islamic State in Syria is killed

A British man who was fighting against so-called Islamic State forces in Syria has been killed, according to his mother.

Former IT worker and painter turned sniper Jac Holmes, 24, from Bournemouth, had been volunteering with the Kurdistan People's Protection Units (YPG) since leaving the UK in January 2015.

He died on Monday while clearing land mines, his "extremely proud" mother Angie Blannin said. She learnt of his death late on Monday.

Mr Holmes was killed in the city of Raqqa, which was liberated from IS last week after being under the group's control for more than three years. He was part of a four-man sniper unit.

Mrs Blannin said: "He stood up for what he believed in and he had the courage of his convictions to go out and do something where he thought that the West were not doing enough.

"To defeat Isis he felt that it was not just a Syrian problem, or Middle Eastern problem, it was a world problem.

"He wanted to go and do something about that and not just be a keyboard warrior."

According to the YPG, there are around 25 British recruits still in Syria.

The group says that in the past three years, between 30 and 50 men and women have travelled from the UK to fight for the YPG against IS. Of these, six men have been killed, the YPG says.

Jac Holmes was part of a four-man sniper unit Credit: Jac Holmes/Facebook

At one point in 2016, Mr Holmes was detained in a Kurdish-held region of northern Iraq after crossing the border with Syria, on his way home from fighting. He and two fellow fighters were subsequently released.

Asked how much training he had been given as a civilian volunteer with no military background, Mr Holmes told viewers during a Facebook live video on October 4: "Not very much. I learned how to strip weapons, shot a few rounds, ran around a bit, that's about it."

Mr Holmes featured in the 2015 Channel 4 documentary Frontline: The Brits Battling ISIS.

During his three tours with the YPG up until his death, his mother said he had fought in every major battle, had at times been surrounded by IS fighters and had suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and three cracked ribs.

She added: "He was a boy when he went, but my God, he definitely died a man and I am extremely proud of him. All my family are incredibly proud."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed it had supported a British national in detention in 2016, but would not comment on reports of Mr Holmes's death.