Michael Israel (left) & Anton Neshek (right)
People's Protection Units (YPG) volunteers, American Michael Israel (Robin Agiri, 27) from California and German Anton Leschek (Zana Ciwan), were killed by Turkish warplanes on 24 November according to another international volunteer fighting alongside the pair against the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS/ISIL), west of Manbij. [updated].
On his Facebook page, the international volunteer, who was amongst the group killed by Turkish warplanes wrote:
"We were taking a small village when we got hit by Turkish jets in the night. Two of my friends, Anton and Michael were killed among many others. I'm staying to finish out my six months. Fuck Erdogan and Fuck Turkey."
The YPG have informed both men's families.
Another of Micheal Israel's comrades posted the following message on his Facebook page:
"It's with a heavy heart that I learn today heval [friend] Michael Israel has passed away fighting ISIS as a volunteer with the YPG in Rojava. Michael was a man of extremely powerful convictions; an inspiring, idealistic fighter who struggled unlike any other for a better world, not just for a better Kurdistan and a better America. He spent his whole life fighting systems of injustice that deny peace, and trekked the states spreading awareness against the Iraq war. He conferred his experiences and lessons from both Syria and the states with everyone. He died the very way he lived, and his legacy is an example of how a true revolutionary should be. History will exalt him as one of the greatest of our generation, like many others. He taught me a lot, I'll never forget him. Rest in power heval"
According to reports Michael Israel was a socialist [corrected] and member of IWW (Industrial Workers of the World).
In a Facebook post on 11 August 2016, Israel, who had spent two stints in Rojava wrote:
"I am back in Rojava again and will be here for the next several months to do my part in defending the revolution.
The Rojava struggle is the most dynamic and ground breaking revolutionary movement of our time. I am determined that it is the job of leftist allies and internationalists to rally behind this movement, to help build it up and learn from it. Things that we may have only dreamed of in theoretical writing are acted upon in Rojava, modified and adapted to their struggle and made real. Rojava is doing this all and reorganizing society despite the chaos and destruction of 5 years of civil war. The gains of the revolution under such austere and harsh conditions is truly remarkable.
Now that I am back in Rojava, I know all my needs will be met. Here I will never be in want of basic necessities for lack of money. I, like all others in Rojava, will never go without food and water, clothing or a place to rest my head at night. The movement takes care of people here.
That is not to say though that Rojava and the rest of Syria do not need help though.
I’m calling on all of my friends and comrades to learn about the Rojava revolution and how they have been leading the charge in the war against ISIS fascists. I’m calling on all of you who are able, to do your part in helping or sending donations so that this revolution may become stronger with the aid of the international community."
Michael Israel becomes the 5th American YPG volunteer to be killed in battle against the Islamic State in Rojava but the first to be killed by Turkish fire.
Anton Leschek is the 4th German to be killed in the ranks of the Kurdish forces.
It is not known how many other fighters of the YPG, a leading force in the multi-ethnic SDF which launched the 'Wrath of Euphrates' operation to liberate Raqqa from IS, were killed in the aerial attack.
- Kurdish Question