Southsea rebel fighter killed in Syria

Ifthekar Jaman pictured in a video interview with the BBC's Newsnight programme
Ifthekar Jaman pictured in a video interview with the BBC's Newsnight programme

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A PORTSMOUTH man who left the city to fight for a rebel extremist group in Syria has been killed

It is believed Ifthekar Jaman died in a clash in the war-torn country over the weekend but the circumstances of his death are not yet clear..

The News reported last month that the 23-year-old apparently left his Southsea home in the spring of this year, telling his family that he was going to Turkey.

He was fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group (ISIS) which is opposed to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told The News: “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.’

A number of posts have been made on internet forums and social media today describing Ifthekar Jaman as being ‘martyred’.

On Facebook, Yasmïn Ullah Bégum posted: ‘When a brother is martyred... how can you not be happy? Such an inspiration! No doubt this is a difficult time for the family.’

Another man, Saara Kharal, said: ‘Our brother Ifthekar Jaman has become a Green Bird by joining the caravan of martyrs. May Allah grant him the lofty ranks of Jannah (paradise).’

Four other men from Portsmouth are believed to have also made the decision to become soldiers.

In his last posts on the social network, Twitter, Ifthekar Jaman said: ‘A man leaves his home to fight for the oppressed people sounds heroic until you add in ‘Muslim Man’. Then he’s a terorrist/extremist.

‘That is the view of the west. Osama Bin Laden was known as a hero when he went, which was in an article, to fight against the Soviets.’

In an interview with the BBC last month, he said: ‘I am ISIS. This is the group I am with. We are trying to establish the law of God, the law of Allah.

‘This is the duty on me... all these people are suffering. Muslims are being slaughtered.’

He added: ‘God says he’ll bring the best believers here.’