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Rudaw

World

British YPG volunteer formally charged with terror training

By Rudaw 14/2/2018
James Matthews speaks with supporters outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Wednesday. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP
James Matthews speaks with supporters outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Wednesday. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – British national James Matthews was formally charged in a London court on Wednesday with terror training after he volunteered with the Kurdish YPG in the war against ISIS. 

He appeared a London courtroom on the charge of “attending a place or places in Iraq and Syria where instruction or training was provided for purposes connected to the commission or preparation of terrorism,” the police stated. 

He is accused of attending a training camp “as part of a group of people struggling to assist the Kurdish groups fighting against ISIS,” his counsel, Joel Bennathan, told the court, BBC reported. 

Matthews entered a plea of not guilty.

He was granted bail and will next appear in court on March 1.

Supporters gathered outside the courthouse. 

"I am here to support James because I think it is really inspirational when people put their life on the line to fight for this common struggle, which is really an international struggle,” supporter Red Rosa told AFP. 

This is believed to be the first case of a terror charge for a British volunteer who fought against ISIS. 

The YPG are an ally of the global coalition fighting ISIS in northern Syria. Hundreds of volunteers from around the world have joined the force.

The British government has repeatedly warned volunteers that they could face legal consequences. 

 

Comments

 
Shabo | 14/2/2018
Why should Kurds fight for western racist ideals when they dont even support Kurds. Whoever becomes "friends" (slaves) of west will be used. Kurds and Arabs in FSA fight together to free Afrin Syria Rojava from communists and Americans who support diffrent groups just to see war and blood in middel east. All people must have same right under FSA and protection from Assad and western hypocrites.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 14/2/2018
I've been an Anglophile for a long time, but will be the first to state that the English have done some very strange things in the quest for Proper Behavior.
Richard | 15/2/2018
"He appeared a London courtroom on the charge of “attending a place or places in Iraq and Syria where instruction or training was provided for purposes connected to the commission or preparation of terrorism,” the police stated" I fail to see how he can be charged with such an offence when the YPG is not listed as a Terrorist Organisation but is part of the International Coalition and, as such, carries out legitimate armed acts with and on behalf of the International Coalition against a named Terrorist Organisation. And to top it all the British Government talk about allowing British Jihadists who fought for ISIS to return to the UK and be rehabilitated back into society!!!!! This doers not make sense at all.
Jon | 15/2/2018
Very good news to keep the security high in our towns.
Jagerxin derashy | 16/2/2018
They can lock the locks but no one can stop the clock!
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