A Canadian man who has been overseas fighting against Islamic State militants has reportedly been killed by a suicide-bomb blast.
John Gallagher, 32, a former member of the Canadian military, left Canada in the spring. According to a profile of the Windsor, Ont., native in Macleans, Gallagher first joined the fight in Iraq in May. He then moved to the front lines in Syria where he fought alongside the Kurdish YPG, a major opponent of IS.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights posted a message online Wednesday reporting the death, including a picture of Gallagher. The post said Gallagher died when an IS fighter detonated a bomb on a farm near a village called Dalhu.
“He was fighting in the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces which is having violent battles against the Islamic State in the vicinity of al-Hool area in Al-Hasakah province,” the post states.
A posting on Gallagher’s Facebook page that says it was written by his mother, Valerie, says she heard from “representatives from the YPG in Syria and in London and it seems that John Robert was killed by a suicide bomber.”
The posting says Gallagher “thought this was such an important fight and he has always been a man of principle, who believed very strongly in human rights and justice.”
In a statement to Global News, Foreign Affairs said it had been made aware of reports of a death of a Canadian citizen in Syria, and said Consular officials were gathering additional information. It noted the Canadian government’s ability to offer consular assistance in the war-torn country “is severely limited.”
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With files from the Canadian Press
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