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Body of man killed fighting Islamic State in Syria returned to family

The body of a man from Barnsley who was killed fighting Islamic State in Syria has been returned to his family.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield Credit: Facebook/ Jason Matson

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, aged 25, was the first British national to die in the fight. He had travelled to the country to work alongside Kurdish forces providing medical aid. An online charity fundraising page in his memory has collected over £1,500.

Read: Former classmates plan memorial for soldier killed fighting IS

Tribute to Konstandinos from Kurdish news organisation

The organisation Kurdish Question, which provides pro-Kurdish news and political analysis, has released a statement.

"Kurdish Question has tonight learnt of the loss of the first YPG volunteer from the UK, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, nom de guerre Kemal.

"Kurdish Question can confirm that the family of Konstandinos has been informed of the loss of their son and we would like to pay our deepest respects and honour the memory of this brave young man who travelled to Rojava to fight ISIS with the Kurdish forces of the YPG.

"We can confirm that Konstandinos Erik Scurfield died in battle, probably in NE Syria/Rojava although the full details are yet to be announced by YPG.

"The YPG do have the body of Konstandinos. When we messaged Jordan Matson today if he can confirm the martyrdom of a UK volunteer, he simply replied,

"Yes, I am here with his body!"

"Konstandinos fell in combat with ISIS yesterday, that much we think we know. But more details will be forthcoming from YPG soon.

"To all of the family, friends and comrades in arms of Konstandinos we pay our deepest respect and will honour his memory as a brave fighter for justice."

– Kurdish Question

First Briton killed fighting IS in Syria "is from Barnsley"

A former Royal Marine has become the first Briton to be killed while fighting against Islamic State in Syria, according to reports.

He has been named by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, from Barnsley.

"We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Syria.

"The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, where all UK consular services are suspended.

"As we do not have any representation in Syria, it is extremely difficult to get any confirmation of deaths or injuries and our options for supporting British nationals there are extremely limited."

– The Foreign Office

A statement on the Kurdish Question website read: "We can confirm that Konstandinos Erik Scurfield died in battle, probably in Hasakah although thefull details are yet to be announced by YPG."

It said it had contacted Jordan Matson of the YPG who, when asked to confirm the death of a UK volunteer, said: "Yes, I am here with his body."

"Because of potential language issues I volunteered to inform the family of his death, which I did and spoke to his mother on behalf of the YPG."

– Mark Campbell Kurdish issues activist


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