Posted on August 11, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Kurdistan
Jordan MacTaggart known by his Kurdish comrades as Ciwan Firat, killed in battle against Islamic State in Syria’s Manbij. Photo: MacTaggart/AP
MANBIJ, Syria,— An American warrior fighting alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syrian Kurdistan has been killed in battle against Islamic State (IS) militants in the Syrian city of Manbij.
The YPG said Jordan MacTaggart, a 22-year-old Colorado native man, known by his Kurdish comrades as Ciwan Firat and was killed in “heroic” combat against IS militants.
“American YPG fighter Jordan MacTaggart KIA few days ago in Manbij,” the group Assisting the Volunteers of Rojava wrote on Facebook. “We have lost a great hero.”
MacTaggart’s father confirmed to Denver7 on Tuesday that YPG contacted his family to tell them their son was killed. No further details have been released about his death.
His parents said MacTaggart left the U.S. in early January to go back to Syria for a second time.
MacTaggart is now the second Colorado resident killed while fighting as part of YPG. An Arvada man, Levi Jonathan Shirley, also died fighting IS last month. His body has yet to be returned to the states.
An article in the Boulder Weekly last year said MacTaggart was previously wounded and thought he was going to die.
MacTaggart told the newspaper he was an atheist, but he said when he researched the YPG, he found they shared many of his values and beliefs. He said he saw traveling to Syria to help them in their struggle against the Islamic State as something productive he could do with his life.
“He was a real character, full of charisma, funny, caring and extremely brave,” Joe Robinson wrote. “On his first trip to Syria he was on an operation where he was shot in the leg and stranded, he did not go home but recovered in hospital there and went back to the fight. Jordan, you were a true hero and you will be missed by many.
“You were a hero,” Kamal Spiecher wrote. “You have traveled along way to fight against terrorism and for the Kurdish case, You will be always remembered in the the freedom history. My condolences to your family and your beloved ones.
Earlier this month a British man and a Slovenian national fighting alongside the Syrian Kurds werekilled during battles against the Islamic State in the city of Manbij.
The powerful Kurdish YPG forces are the most effective group fighting IS in Syria, as the militia has seized swathes of Syria from Islamic State.