01/12/2016 - 09:42 0
MMC Statement on Michael Israel and Anton Leschek, Killed in Turkish Airstrikes in Syria

The Manbij Military Council has made a statement about the two internationalist volunteers who died in Turkish airstrikes recently.

Michael Isreal (Robin Agiri) from the U.S. and Anton Leschek (Zana Ciwan) from Germany were killed by Turkish airstrikes on 24 November 2016.

The statement said both men had remained in Manbij following the liberation of the city from the Islamic State group on 15 August to "assist local Manbij units defending the region. Especially when an occupying actor had entered the scene of the Syrian war, these volunteers who had not tolerated terror and oppression, could not accept Turkish occupation threatening Manbij and northern Syria."

Related: International YPG Volunteers Fighting ISIS Killed by Turkish Warplanes - Updated

The statement said Michael Israel had joined the revolution in July 2016 with the motivation "to protect the peoples' revolution of Rojava and fight the enemies of the struggle."

Anton Leschek was described as a "fearless youth from Germany" who had joined the Manbij Military Council in September 2016.

Leschek is quoted as saying, "It's a true fight in Rojava for me, because here people neither surrender to tyranny nor to terror. I will support this democratic revolution to the end."

The statement confirms that both men were killed in Turkish airstrikes in western Manbij on 24 November where "the council continues to put up a fierce resistance against occupying Turkish army and its affiliated terrorists."

Turkey, alongside Islamist Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups, launched the Euphrates Shield Operation 10 days after the liberation of Manbij from the IS, on 24 August.

Although the operation was allegedly launched to oust the Islamic State group from the area it is has increasingly targeted Syrian Democratic Forces' positions, which the MMC is a part of.

Commentators have said Turkey wants to prevent Kurdish gains in the region as well as weaken the democratic system being created in northern Syria.

Kurdish military figures have claimed Turkey aims to create a mini Sunni state in the areas it has occupied.

Recently Turkey President Erdogan stated they had entered Syria to "end Assad's rule."