The bodies of three American citizens, who joined the PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) terror group in Syria and were killed in clashes with DAESH in August in Manbij, were delivered to the U.S. on Tuesday.
Jordan MacTaggart, William Savage and Levi Jonathan Shirley were among the foreign fighters who joined the ranks of the YPG, the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian-affiliate of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU and Turkey. A border official of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) told the Iraq-based Rudaw that the corpses of three Americans were transferred to KRG-controlled Northern Iraq through the Semelka border town.
"The three American fighters were killed during Manbij liberation operations. A U.S. consulate delegation attended the ceremony of returning the three corpses as they were handed over to them," Shawkat Berbahari said. This is not the first time that foreign citizens have joined the ranks of the terrorist group, which is carrying out expansionist policies across Turkey's Syrian border under the guise of fighting DAESH.
Previously, an Australian man, Jamie Bright, a 45-year-old former soldier, was killed in May while fighting alongside the ranks of the YPG in clashes near Tishrin Dam in northwest Syria. At least two other Australians, Reece Harding and Ashley Johnston, were killed in 2015 while with Kurdish groups fighting DAESH. Furthermore, one American, two German nationals, one Briton and a Canadian were also previously killed in YPG clashes in Syria.
Despite the flow of foreign fighters from the West to join the PKK-linked YPG, Western countries continue to glorify the issue with advertisements, becoming a tool for PKK propaganda. A photo exhibition at the European Parliament featured leaders and members of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot the PYD. Around 30 photographs show PKK, PYD and YPG terrorists in northern Syria, with certain regions labelled "cantons" in the captions.