London, City of
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
A British woman who joined the YPG/PKK terror group has been killed in Syria's Afrin region during the ongoing Operation Olive Branch, according to British media reports Monday.
Anna Campbell, 26, has become the first female but eighth British terrorist to have been killed in Syria. She was killed on March 15 in Afrin, according to a BBC report.
Two British men, Jim Matthews and Aiden James, who joined the terrorist group in Syria were arrested and sent to court on terrorism-related charges.
The PKK is a proscribed terrorist organization in the U.K. but the YPG has not been included in its list of terror organizations in this country.
The Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank, suggested in a report last year that the YPG should be proscribed in the U.K., after profiling 60 foreigners who joined the terrorist organization from 12 different countries.
“The Forgotten Foreign Fighters: The PKK in Syria” laid bare the ties between the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization in the EU and U.S. as well as Turkey, and the PKK/PYD in Syria.
It urged the U.K. government to distance itself from the PKK/PYD as it could potentially cause a crisis with Turkey -- a fellow NATO member.
It recommended the U.K. government to “consider updating the Foreign Enlistment Act to prevent Britons from joining non-state actors engaged in conflict abroad”.
Those who returned from the PKK/PYD “should be screened to assess if they require any further state attention, either from the criminal justice system or social services,” the report read.
The PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years that has led to the deaths of more than 40,000 people. It is a proscribed terror group in Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch has aimed to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.
The Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army fighters took control of the Afrin town center early on Sunday.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.