BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:05 A.M.) – A U.S. volunteer for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was killed during the battle of Raqqa this week, Kurdish activists reported on Tuesday.
The U.S. national was identified by Kurdish activists as Robert Grodt (AKA ‘Demhat’) of California.
Grodt’s death was confirmed by his family via social media on Tuesday.
According to pro-SDF ARA News Agency, Grodt lived in New York prior to joining the predominately Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.
“In 2014, that was when Kobanê was under siege and everybody I knew was kind of watching and waiting. It was a tense sort of moment. But as the fight started to turn, people got hopeful, more people started turning up at friends that left and came to help,” he told the YPG media centre last month, as quoted by ARA News.
“And I’d just started a family, so I hadn’t but the plane ticket just yet, but it was something on my mind. Last year, a buddy of mine, who I was really close with, came out here. And when I saw him out here, I was like ‘That’s it! I got it. I got to go’,” he said.
The Pentagon and SDF have yet to comment on Grodt’s death in Raqqa.