Live updates

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

Advertisement

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

International footballer speaks out about personal impact of Syrian civil war

The Syrian civil war has forced millions to leave their homes and seek shelter in other countries.

Our reporter travelled to a refugee camp in southern Turkey which houses 17,000 refugees. One of them was an international footballer whose glittering career was interrupted by the civil war.

Vidhi Doshi reports and we chat to Wael Hamdosh from the Syrian Association of Yorkshire, who talks about the struggles of refugees and the services they offer

Advertisement

Aid worker urges British security cohesion after double questioning

A campaigner who has been distributing aid to Syrian refugees has described the appalling conditions he witnessed, as people flee the conflict there.

Nazim Ali from Bradford travelled three thousand miles to the Turkish-Syrian border to help hundreds of refugees in the town of Reyhani.

He is planning to return next year. But before he does, he is urging British security services to improve the way they work together, after he was spoken to twice by separate agencies - once before he left home and then again when he was held at Manchester airport when he got back.

Lisa Adlam has his story:

Syrian community hold vigil in Bradford

A vigil has been held in Bradford to mark the anniversary of one of the deadliest chemical weapons attacks in almost three decades.

Syrian refugees and members of the Syrian Association in Yorkshire gathered in the city this afternoon to remember the victims of the atrocity in Ghouta- when rockets containing the chemical Sarin - were fired. It is thought it claimed the lives of up to seventeen hundred people, many of them civilians.

Load more updates