Joe Robinson (third from left, bottom row) is a former British soldier from Lancashire. He is accused of “membership of a terrorist organisation” after he was arrested while on holiday in Turkey. Why? Because he was a former combat medic with Kurdish-led forces fighting Daesh (Isis/Isil). But those same forces are closely working with US and British military.
Robinson was at the Aegean resort of Didim with his girlfriend Mira Rojkan and her mother when they were arrested by police. His girlfriend, a Leeds University student, and her mother were later released. Robinson was accused of posting pro-Kurdish propaganda on Facebook. It is thought he is also accused of being part of a Kurdish militia.
Joined international brigade
Robinson was with the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) at the battle of Sarrin when the town was captured from Daesh. There his unit helped liberate women who had been captured by Daesh as sex-slaves. And Robinson also helped treat locals who had suffered horrific injuries.
(Photo from Robinson’s Facebook page of him and his comrades in Rojava)
US and UK supporting Kurd-led forces
In a news report by al-Jazeera, US Special Forces were seen wearing the emblem of the YPJ (the women’s equivalent of the YPG). It is understood that the US has at least 300 soldiers supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF, which includes the YPG and YPJ, is co-operating with the US in a joint operation to liberate the city of Raqqa from Daesh.
The US is also providing the SDF with equipment, including 120mm mortars, machines guns, ammunition, and light armoured vehicles
And in May it was reported that not just US, but also UK military are providing support to Kurdish-led anti-terrorist forces in Syria and Iraq. n official statement from UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon referred to British military support for the SDF (including YPG and YPJ).
Robinson needs to be released
Robinson’s arrest by a NATO member country may prove to be a huge mistake. Robinson is a former British soldier and anti-terrorist fighter. In Britain, he is seen as a hero.
It is reported that the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office is currently seeking consular assistance for Robinson. He should be released immediately and all charges dropped.
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Featured image via Kom News
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