Canadian Nazzareno Antonio Tassone (L) and Briton Ryan Lock (R) were killed north of Raqqa on December 21. Photo: YPG
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Two foreign volunteers fighting with the Kurdish forces in Syria were killed a few days before Christmas in the offensive to retake Raqqa from ISIS.
Briton Ryan Lock, 20, was fighting under the nom de guerre Berxwedan Gîvara. Berxwedan means resistance. Canadian Nazzareno Antonio Tassone was fighting under the name Agir Ararat; Agir means fire.
“Comrades Agir and Berxwedan will be the leaders of our struggle and we will remember them in every moment of our life,” reads a statement issued by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on their deaths.
Lock, formerly a chef, had no military experience before joining the YPG, the BBC reported. His father described Lock as a “very caring and loving boy who would do anything to help anyone.” The family has asked for privacy as they mourn their son.
The two were killed on December 21 north of Raqqa. The YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched the second phase of their Wrath of Euphrates campaign to retake the city of Raqqa from ISIS on December 10.
Hundreds of foreign volunteers have travelled to northern Syria to join the Kurdish forces. Tens have been killed.