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A 22-year-old British man has died while fighting against the so-called Islamic State in Syria, according to Kurdish militants.
Luke Rutter, from Birkenhead, Merseyside, was reportedly killed during a campaign to liberate the city of Raqqa.
A statement from his Kurdish commanders, the YPG, said he was “martyred on July 6 2017, in a neighbourhood south of Raqqa”.
They said the Briton arrived in Rojava, a Kurdish region in northern Syria, at the beginning of March this year.
A video of a “final message” from Mr Rutter, also known as Soro Zinar, was posted on the force’s Facebook page. In the video, he apologised for lying to his loved ones about going to fight.
He said: “I lied to people I care about to come here. I said that I was going somewhere else, I didn’t.
“I apologise massively for that. Apart from that I don’t regret my decision and I hope that you respect it.”
He said he had learnt basic soldiering skills and the Kurdish language at the YPG academy.
He added: “My reasons for joining the YPG I think are like everyone else’s. I think the YPG, they stand for the best opportunity for peace that this region might have.”
The YPG statement continued: “At the end of training in the academy, when asked the usual question addressed to every volunteer: ‘Are you ready to fight?’ He firmly responded ‘Yes’ and said he wanted to fight the fascist organisation of IS.
“We send our thoughts and prayers to Martyr Soro, his family, and his comrades who fought courageously on behalf of all humanity.
“Soro will always be remembered by our people and all peace-loving people around the world as a hero who sacrificed his life for the sake of protecting the value of the free world.”
Mr Rutter is believed to be the fourth British man to die fighting IS with the Kurds in Syria.
Former chef Ryan Lock, 20, from Chichester, West Sussex, shot himself to avoid falling captive to IS last December.
Dean Evans, 22, a dairy farmer from Reading, Berkshire, died in the city of Manbij in July last year and former Royal Marine Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, 25, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, died in the northern village of Tel Khuzela in March 2015.
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