A British man fighting alongside with Kurdish forces in Raqqa turned his gun on himself to avoid being captured by ISIS.
Ryan Lock, 20, from Chichester, shot himself in December last year after being badly wounded and surrounded by IS fighters.
He wanted to avoid a “frightening and painful death” at the hands of a “cruel and ruthless” enemy, a Portsmouth inquest was told. He had no previous military experience and worked as a chef back in the UK before going to Syria.
He first told his family he was going for a backpacking holidays to Turkey, however they later learned from him that he had crossed to Syria to join Kurdish forces (YPG).
He then kept his parents updated via social media about his military training with the Kurdish militia.
However when the contact with him suddenly stopped, his father found images of the dead Lock online.
They were displayed on an ISIS website as a ‘trophy’ after the group captured Raqqa and made it its de-facto ‘capital’.
His mother told the inquest that her son had sacrificed his life for a cause and regarded him as a ‘hero’.
The coroner concluded in the inquiry: ‘During a battle with Islamic State Ryan gave his life fighting for a cause to which he had dedicated his all. He was a very brave young man. He died doing something quite clearly he believed passionately in. I think that has to be the memorial for Ryan. We’ve lost a heroic young man.’
Ryan Lock never opened up to his parents that he was involved in combat.
A pathologist concluded that Lock’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.
Portsmouth honour deserved
— Rick Crowley (@tweetingbrit) February 1, 2017
English YPG fighter has been a martyr
— Serdar (@War_KenaL) January 3, 2017
A hero deserving recognition from #Britishgov
— Talibelamطالب مراد (@Talibelam) February 3, 2017