Kurds Mourn the Deaths of British and Australian Volunteer Fighters

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The body of Ashley Johnson, an Australian fighter in the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG), was taken from Syria to Turkey at the Derik border crossing. Johnson, who joined the YPG six months ago, was killed on 25 February when the Kurdish militia retook the strategic town of Tal Hamis in northeast Syria from ISIS.

This video shows the procession in which Johnson’s body was taken from Syria to Turkey. It also shows the body of former British Royal Marine and Peshmerga fighter, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, who died on March 4, being taken from a hospital in the Kurdish city of Derik to Iraqi Kurdistan through the Simalka border crossing. Scurfiled was also killed in the battle to retake Tal Hamis.


  1. soundbite (Kurdish )
    Hussein Shawish, YPG commander: “Our revolution in Rojava is a global revolution. It is a human revolution that serves all the peoples of this region – Kurds, Arabs and Christians – against the injustice of dictatorship and the terrorist groups such as ISIS. Martyr Eric volunteered to defend the Kurdish people and the rest of the people in Syria against the injustice of the terror group ISIS. Dozens of Western fighters have also joined the fight, and two other than him were martyred – a German and an Australian. ISIS is an enemy of the entire humankind; an enemy of all cultures, religions and languages. Our revolution represents real democracy. It is a gift for the entire world and humankind, which is why so many young people from around the world come to us to defend democracy and humanity in Rojava. Finally, we offer our condolences to martyr Eric’s family and all the people of Rojava and Britain.”