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  1. ITV Report

Grieving father says UK woman Anna Campbell killed fighting in female Kurdish group wanted to 'create a better world'

A British woman fighting with a Kurdish armed unit in Syria has died, her father has said.

Anna Campbell, from Lewes, East Sussex, died on March 15 in Afrin while with the Kurdish Women's Protection Units, the YPJ.

Grieving father Dirk Campbell told ITV News his daughter knew the risks of traveling but wanted to "create a better world".

The 26-year-old is the first British woman to have been killed in Syria with the YPG or YPJ.

It is believed she was killed by Turkish air strikes.

Seven men have died in the country while fighting alongside the groups.

Anna smiles as Turkish forces stepped up their offensive Credit: Facebook

"I told her of course that she was putting her life in danger, which she knew full well she was doing," Mr Campbell said.

"I feel I should have done more to persuade her to come back, but she was completely adamant."

Mr Campbell added: "I couldn't affect or try to influence her own perceived destiny. It was the most important thing in life for her."

Ms Campbell dyed her hair black as well to appear less Western. Credit: YPJ handout

The YPJ is an all-female brigade of the Kurdish People's Protection Units YPG, which has around 50,000 Kurdish men and women fighting against Islamic State in northern Syria.

In a statement to the Guardian, YPJ commander and spokeswoman Nesrin Abdullah said Ms Campbell's death was a "great loss".

She told the paper: "Campbell's martyrdom is a great loss to us because with her international soul, her revolutionary spirit, which demonstrated the power of women, she expressed her will in all her actions."

In a separate statement, the spokeswoman added that Ms Campbell had joined the unit in May 2017 and fought against IS in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.

Ms Abdullah also said the Briton dyed her hair to black as well to appear less western and not to attract attention.

Anna stares down the barrel of a gun during training with the YPJ Credit: Facebook

Conflict between Turkey and Kurdish groups has been inflamed since January.

Over the weekend, Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the country's military had captured the town centre of Afrin, which was previously controlled by the YPG.

It comes nearly two months after an offensive was launched on the Kurdish territory.

Mr Erdogan also announced that the Turkish flag and that of Syrian opposition fighters had been raised in the town.