Kurdish authorities have delivered tragic news to the family of a British solider who had volunteered to fight Islamic State militants in Syria. Evidence suggests 20-year-old Ryan Lock committed suicide to avoid capture by enemy combatants.
Lock’s story began in England, when the young man lied to his parents about where he was going. Lock, who worked as a chef, told his parents he was going on vacation in Turkey. He actually had volunteered to fight in Syria as a soldier with the Kurdish armed fighting forces, the YPG.
Reports from the Kurdish militia say that Lock was with a group of 5 fighters that found themselves surrounded by ISIS fighters in the city of Ja’bar. All 5 were believed to have been killed by the ISIS fighters.
The BBC is reporting that Lock’s death looks more like a suicide. A YPG spokesman told the BBC that a “trace of a gunshot wound was found under the chin.” The YPG retrieved the bodies for burial, and found that “the gun made contact with the bottom of the chin.” Authorities believe may have killed himself to avoid capture.
Lock, originally from Chichester in West Sussex, had lied to his parents about where he was going. When he did tell them about his destination, he sent them a simple note on Facebook.
“I’m on my way to Rojava,” He wrote. “I lied about going to Turkey. I’m sorry I didn’t tell anyone. I love all of you and I will be back in six months.”
The sparse nature of the note, along with the simple explination about his destination, implies that he’d told the family of his intentions to fight in Syria. It also implies that they weren’t in support of his decision.
Lock’s father, Jon Plater, gave a statement to the BBC. “Since we heard the devastating news of Ryan, it’s been pretty tough, especially the difficulties surrounding the repatriation. We are grateful to the YPG for bringing him home.”
Lock is the third British citizen to die fighting with the Kurds against Islamic State.