Ryan Lock couldn’t sit back and watch ISIS obliterate, enslave, and ravage an entire region. So instead of tweeting how evil the Islamic State is or changing his profile photo on Facebook, Ryan booked a ticket from the United Kingdom to Syria so he could take the fight to the nefarious terrorist organization.
The British man joined the YPG (The People’s Protection Units) in Rojava, which is in the war-torn northern region of Syria. The 20-year-old from West Sussex battled alongside Kurds in their war against Daesh.
On December 21, 2016, the volunteer soldier found himself in a fierce firefight near ISIL’s stronghold of Raqqa. Lock and four other Kurdish fighters came under heavy attack from the Islamic State ghouls in a village called Ja’bar.
The men put up “considerable resistance,” but in the end they were outgunned and outnumbered.
YPG fighters later found Ryan with a “trace of a gunshot wound was found under the chin” suggesting that Lock chose to take his own life to avoid being captured by ISIS.
“There are no words to describe the bravery required to take such an action,” said Kurdish rights activist Mark Campbell. “ISIS were robbed of a predictable macabre propaganda opportunity by Ryan’s action.”
“I personally believe he deserves the very highest of military honors for such outstanding bravery in the face of such a barbaric enemy,” Campbell told BBC.
On Tuesday, Ryan’s body was transported into Iraq in preparation to be flown back to the UK.
Ryan, who was a chef back home, originally told his family that he was going on vacation in Turkey in an attempt to not worry them.
But later, Ryan revealed the truth of his courageous mission to try to end ISIS. This was his last message.
“I’m on my way to Rojava. I lied about going to Turkey. I’m sorry I didn’t tell anyone. I love all of you and I will be back in six months.”
Godspeed Ryan Lock, and thank you for your supreme bravery and altruism that sadly ended in you paying the ultimate sacrifice.