Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


British ex-marine killed fighting ISIS in Syria

05 March 2015, 08:00

London - A former Royal Marine has become the first Briton to be killed while fighting with Kurdish forces battling Islamic State jihadists in Syria, leaving his family "devastated" on Wednesday.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, 25, died on Monday in a battle with ISIS militants, a source in the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) told AFP.

"We are devastated to confirm the death of our son Konstandinos Erik Scurfield in Syria where he went to support the forces opposing Islamic State," his family said in a statement through the Foreign Office.

A YPG source said he had arrived in Syria on 7 December and joined the Kurdish militia.

Known as Kemal among fellow fighters, Scurfield died on Monday in a battle with ISIS militants south of Tal Brak town in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, the source said.

"We are in contact with the family to know what they want us to do with his body," the source told AFP by telephone.

He is believed to be the second Westerner to have died fighting with Kurdish forces against ISIS, after an Australian was reported killed in the same area last week.

'They need our help'

Two British former soldiers returned home last year after a stint fighting ISIS while a 19-year-old serving British soldier was returned to his unit last month after fighting with the Kurds while on leave because "these guys need our help".

Dozens of Westerners are thought to have joined the ranks of the YPG in Syria and other militia battling ISIS, including Assyrian Christian forces in Iraq.

However, their numbers are dwarfed by the thousands of foreign jihadists who have joined ISIS since it seized swathes of Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic "caliphate" last year, believed to include more than 500 from Britain alone.

Also read: 2 Malaysians identified in ISIS beheading video from Syria

MP Dan Jarvis said he had been in contact with Scurfield's family in recent weeks as they were "very worried" for his safety.

"Their worst fears have been realised," he said.

"Erik was an experienced former Royal Marine who was horrified by the atrocities being carried out by ISIS," Jarvis added.

"His family's understanding was that he travelled to Syria hoping to provide medical and humanitarian support as an expert in battlefield medicine."

Mark Campbell, a pro-Kurdish rights campaigner, said he had informed Scurfield's mother of the news, and she broke down in tears.

"I really just wanted to inform her, to give her a message from the YPG that they have said they would love to bury Konstandinos as one of their comrades in arms, as a hero, but equally they also want to be guided by the family and will respect the wishes of the family."


Tags isis syria

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...