British woman killed fighting for Syrian-Kurdish women's militia

British woman killed fighting for Syrian-Kurdish women's militia in Afrin
2 min read
19 March, 2018
Anna Campbell died during a Turkish shelling as she fought alongside an Kurdish all-female militia in Afrin, nearly a year after travelling to Syria to help fight against IS.
Anna Campbell persuaded her Kurdish comrades to send her to the Afrin frontline [Twitter]

A British woman fighting alongside Kurdish forces in the Syrian region of Afrin has been killed in a Turkish-led offensive on the area, a spokeswoman for the forces said Monday.

Anna Campbell was killed last week in the Afrin enclave, said Nisrin Abdallah, a spokeswoman for the Kurdish all-female Women's Protection Units (YPJ).

"She died on 15 March 2018 in Turkish shelling," during fighting for Afrin city, Abdallah told AFP

"We learned of her death yesterday and communicated with her parents," she said, confirming that Campbell was from Lewes, East Sussex.

Ankara and allied Syrian rebels began their assault on the Afrin region on 20 January, seizing most of the canton before capturing its urban centre on Sunday. 

They swept into the city after the fighters from the YPJ and its male counterpart, the People's Protection Units (YPG), appeared to withdraw. 

Campbell, a trained plumber, had reportedly travelled to Syria to join the YPJ in May 2017 to help the fight against the Islamic State group in Deir Az-Zour.

She was not deployed to the front lines until this month. 

"After the attack on Afrin, she insisted on being sent there," Abdallah said.

Hundreds of foreign fighters have fought alongside the YPG and YPJ in Syria, mostly backing the Kurdish militia in its battle against the Islamic State group.

At least two were killed last month in the Afrin assault.

Campbell's father told the BBC: "She wanted to create a better world and she would do everything in her power to do that."

"I told her of course that she was putting her life in danger, which she knew full well she was doing," he added.

"I feel I should have done more to persuade her to come back, but she was completely adamant."

French national Olivier Francois Jean Le Clainche, 41, and Spanish national Samuel Prada Leon, 25, were killed elsewhere in the Afrin enclave in February.