turkey arrests british soldier who fought alongside syrian kurds against isis


Turkey arrests British soldier who fought alongside Syrian Kurds against ISIS


Foreign YPG volunteers seen in the vicinity of Jarablus. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

The Turkish authorities has arrested a former British soldier who fought against ISIS extremists in Syria alongside the Kurdish YPG forces.

Joe Robinson, 23, faces terrorism charges after being arrested in Turkey while on holiday.

According to the Independent, Robinson was detained at the resort of Didim, on the Aegean coast, with his girlfriend Mira Rojkan, a Bulgarian living in Leeds, along with her mother who had accompanied them.

“Both the women were subsequently released, but the Turkish authorities have stated that 23 year old Mr Robinson, from Accrington in Lancashire, is being investigated in connection with terrorist offences and is likely to face charges.”

The Foreign Office in London said that it was aware of Robinson’s arrest.

“We are aware of the detention of a British national in Turkey and have requested consular access,” it said.

Turkey considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a Syrian extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been in fight with the Turkish authorities for decades.

“The YPG is the PKK by another name and the PKK is considered a terrorist organisation not just by us but the UK as well. Of course anyone fighting with a terrorist organisation will be investigated and there is a strong possibility of charges and a long sentence if he is found guilty,” a Turkish defence official said.

The YPG is leading the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the war on ISIS. The SDF is currently engaged in heavy clashes with ISIS militants in Raqqa city–the group’s de facto capital in Syria.

A US-led coalition spokesperson told ARA News in an earlier interview that for the United States there is a difference between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“We disagree with the Turkish position that the YPG and the PKK are the same organization. The Coalition recognizes the threat the PKK poses to Turkey, but Turkey cannot pursue that fight at the expense of our common fight against terrorists that threaten us all,” he said, in reference to the war on ISIS jihadists.

“We call on all countries in the region to remain focused on the fight to defeat ISIS, which is the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security,” the official told ARA News.

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