Arabic | Kurdish

Ex-British soldier who fought with Syrian Kurds against IS gets 7.6 years in Turkish prison

2018/09/16 | 14:50

(Iraq Now News)-

Ex-British soldier Joe Robinson fighting with Syrian Kurdish YPG forces against Islamic state arrested in Turkey, 2018.

Photo: Depo

ANKARA,— An ex-British Army soldier who fought with Syrian Kurdish forces against the Islamic State group IS/ISIS in Syria has been jailed for nearly eight years in Turkey.

Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested on holiday accused of fighting the death cult alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units of Syrian Kurdistan (YPG), which the Turkish state is hostile towards.

Robinson, formerly of Accrington, Lancashire, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison, but he reportedly remains on bail while planning an appeal.

He has previously admitted fighting ISIS but went on to deny he acted alongside the Kurdish militia, considered by Turkey as a terror organisation because of its alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK which is fighting for autonomy in Turkey’s Kurdistan region.

Robinson instead insisted he travelled to Syria to provide medical aid.

Robinson spent five months battling the insurgents alongside Kurdish armed forces in 2015.

But he was arrested on a beach while on holiday in Turkey last July and charged with terrorism offences.

His student fiancée, Mira Rojkan, who was arrested at the same time, was given a suspended sentence for “terrorism propaganda”.

She says her only involvement was to share pro-Kurdish posts on Facebook and YouTube.

Mr Robinson’s mother, Sharon Chimejczuk, said she had been informed of the court’s decisions via a phone call from an official at the British Foreign Office.

The former army medic had previously served with UK forces in Afghanistan in 2012.

He travelled to Syria after becoming increasingly incensed by both Isis propaganda videos and what he saw as the UK’s inaction in the region.

His family had believed he was leaving the country to join the French Foreign Legion.

When he returned to the UK in November 2015 he was arrested at Manchester Airport on suspicion of terrorism offences but all charges were dropped 10 months later.

It is understood he travelled to Turkey on holiday without understanding the country’s stance on the YPG.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We stand ready to provide consular assistance to a British national in Turkey.”

Seven British nationals are believed to have been killed fighting with the YPG.

In March Anna Campbell, from Lewes, East Sussex, was volunteering with the US-backed Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) – the all-female affiliate army of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – in the besieged city of Afrin.


regards the Kurdish Democratic Union Party PYD and its powerful military wing YPG/YPJ, as key ally against Islamic State IS and the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and has provided them with arms, air support as well as the military advisers. The YPG has seized swathes of Syria from Islamic State.

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