A BRITON killed fighting against the Islamic State group in Syria is reported to have killed himself to avoid capture.
Ryan Lock, a chef from Chichester, is said to have died during an offensive by anti-IS forces in a bid to retake the northern city of Raqqa, considered to be the terrorist group’s capital, in December.
According to the BBC, Kurdish sources said the 20-year-old shot himself to avoid being taken prisoner by IS and used as a propaganda tool.
The body of the former chef is expected to be repatriated to Britain after being recovered by his Kurdish comrades.
Mr Lock’s body is said to have arrived in Kurd-controlled territory on Tuesday and was received during a military ceremony by pro-Kurdish fighters.
Photos of the ceremony showed a coffin displaying a photograph of Mr Lock and a Union flag surrounded by armed militia.
Mark Campbell, a Kurdish rights campaigner, said on Facebook: ‘UK YPG volunteer Ryan Lock’s body passed over the border of Rojava to KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) region with military honours today (Tuesday) to begin his journey home to his family and friends for burial in the UK.
‘Our thoughts today are very much with his mother, father and whole family at this difficult time and very much hope that the repatriation process in Erbil will be speedy so the family can have Ryan home, as soon as possible, for burial.’
Mr Lock, who had no previous military experience and was educated at Warblington School near Havant, had joined the People’s Protection Units, known as the YPG.
He reportedly told his family he was going on holiday to Turkey when he left Britain in August.
A statement posted by Mr Campbell from Jon Lock, Mr Lock’s father, said the family was ‘grateful to the YPG for bringing him home’.
‘On behalf of the family, since we heard the devastating news of Ryan, it’s been pretty tough, especially the difficulties surrounding the repatriation,’ he said.
Sources told the BBC that an examination showed that ‘it seems that the British fighter committed suicide in order not to fall captive with Isis’.
A report said the gunshot wound indicated ‘that the gun made contact with the bottom of the chin.’
Using Mr Lock’s nom de guerre, YPG general command member Mihyedin Xirki said: ‘We bless the resistance of British martyr Berxwedan Givara for the families of all martyrs and the British people. Our martyr fell putting up a brave fight.
‘The courageous and honourable resistance of the YPG has directed conscientious people from all around the world to join the YPG and the Revolution of Rojava.’