Briton fighting against IS killed in Raqa: family

This file photo taken on April 19, 2015 shows Jac Holmes from the UK in a trench on the outskirts of the north-western Syrian town of Tal Tamr. His family say he has been killed

A British man fighting alongside Kurds against the Islamic State group in Syria has been killed during the push to liberate Raqa, his family said Tuesday.

Sniper Jac Holmes, from Bournemouth in southern England, who was fighting with the Kurdistan People’s Protection Units, was clearing mines on Monday when he died, his mother told the Press Association.

“He stood up for what he believed in and he had the courage of his convictions to go out and do something where he thought that the West were not doing enough,” Angie Blannin told PA.

“To defeat ISIS he felt that it was not just a Syrian problem, or Middle Eastern problem, it was a world problem,” she said of the 24-year-old.

Kurdish officials told her that her son had been clearing mines in the city, despite being a sniper.

“It is all a bit sketchy but I am guessing he stepped on a landmine or one went off close to him, or it was a suicide vest.”

Blannin said she had initially tried to talk her son, a former painter and decorator, out of going to fight IS in 2015, but described him as “very headstrong.”

He fought alongside Kurdish soldiers and had previously suffered a gunshot wound.

“I am extremely proud of him. All my family are incredibly proud,” his mother told PA.

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that the end of the Islamic State “caliphate is in sight” with the fall of Raqa.

The declaration came four days after US-backed Kurdish-led forces recaptured the city, the capital of IS’s self-proclaimed caliphate and its last major stronghold in Syria.

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