The bodies of two English volunteer fighters who died in Syria have been repatriated. Jac Holmes and Oliver Hall, both 24, were killed by explosive devices in Raqqa at the end of 2017.The men were among British volunteers who travelled to Syria to join the Kurdish-led armed group the YPG, to fight against the Islamic State group.Vehicles containing their coffins were met at Heathrow Airport by relatives and members of the Kurdish community.
Jac Holmes, from Bournemouth, travelled to Syria three times, where he became the commander of a sniper unit.His father, Peter, described his shock on first discovering what his son was planning to do.”I opened a drawer and found his flight confirmation. I had to leave the house because I was so angry with him,” he said.Mr Holmes said he later came to feel very proud of his son.”He did it because it was necessary, protecting innocents who couldn’t protect themselves.”Jac Holmes was killed by a suicide vest which was left behind after Islamic State forces were ousted from Raqqa in October.Oliver Hall, from Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, was killed in the city in November after travelling to Syria to join the conflict in August.His mother Jane Lyndon said an improvised device went off as he was making the area safe for civilians to return home.The fighters’ families and Kurds laid flowers on private ambulances carrying the men’s coffins at Heathrow.British authorities have repeatedly tried to deter people from travelling to Syria to fight with armed groups.Police had warned Mr Holmes’ family that he would be arrested when he next returned to the UK.
Source: BBC Dorset