Daily uncovers Estonian fighting against ISIS in Syria

Estonian citizen Robert (right) in Syria The Facebook site of the YPG
1/19/2015 12:10 PM
Category: Society

A 23-year-old Estonian traveled to Syria to fight for the People's Protection Unit (YPG), a Kurdish military force, at the end of last year.

According to Eesti Päevaleht, the man, named as Robert, is likely to be fighting in the Rojava region, which also includes the embattled town of Kobane.

Robert left Estonia while his family was on holiday, joining the YPG at the end of November, the daily said. Apparently, only a few friends knew of the plan and they have been in contact with him through Facebook, although sporadically.

The man has roots in Kazakhstan, but his father was Estonian and he spoke Estonian at home. Friends told the daily he was always interested in weapons and did not feel a connection to Estonia, blaming the United States for many of the world's problems and dismissing Estonian media. Robert has no known prior training, having so far ignored calls to complete his conscription duties, and after leaving, said on his social media site that he has no plans to return.

Harrys Puusepp, a spokesman for the Internal Security Service, the Estonian counterintelligence agency, said Estonian legislation is not very clear on what will happen if he returns, but he could be charged with illegal handling of weapons and explosives, or even terrorism.

Previously officials had said a number of Estonians, initially believed to be just one, have traveled to Syria to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which the YPG is fighting. The Internal Security Service said the identity of the Islamic fighters are known to them and so far none have returned.

J.M. Laats

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