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A 24-year-old Colorado man died while serving as a volunteer combatant with a Kurdish militia in Syria, the Associated Press reports.
Levi Shirley, who appears to have gone by the nom de guerre Agir Servan, was reportedly killed by a landmine in northern Syria on July 14. Susan Shirley told the Associated Press that she received news of her son’s death from the U.S. consulate in Turkey. Shirley’s immediate family seems to have thought he was in Texas training to be an emergency medical technician, although he had traveled to Syria before.
“We didn’t even know he was over there until we got the call,” Shirley’s sister said.
Shirley was one of dozens of Westerners who have volunteered for duty with Kurdish units battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since the terrorist organization began its rampage through the region in 2014. Shirley was serving with the People’s Protection Unit, or YPG, which is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party. The group uses a Facebook page, “The Lions of Rojava,” to recruit foreigners into its ranks.
Shirley is the second American volunteer to be killed while fighting alongside the YPG. The first, Keith Broomfield, died in Syria in 2015. Neither man had prior military experience. Shirley’s mother told the Associated Press that her son had tried to join the Marines after high school but had been turned away due to bad eyesight.
Shirley was killed during his second trip to Syria. According to his mother, he had joined the YPG in 2015 and returned to the States after about three months. Between trips, Shirley worked at fast food restaurants and apparently struggled to assimilate back into his life in the suburbs of Denver. He returned to Syria in January.
“He saw ISIS as a terrible evil, and that just was not OK with him,” Shirley’s mother said. “That’s the way his mind works. If you are defenseless, he will help you.”
(Reuters) - The suspected shooter involved in a deadly incident on Friday at a major U.S. Navy base in Florida was believed to be a Saudi national in the United States for training, two U.S. defense officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Four people including the shooter were killed in the episode at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Navy and local sheriff's office said, the second deadly shooting at a U.S. military installation this week.
For some brave U-2 pilots, life on the ground just can't compare to flying a 64-year-old spy plane to the edge of space, but some airmen need that extra rush.
For Capt. Joshua Bird of the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron, he seemed to have found that rush in cocaine — at least, that's what an official legal notice from Beale Air Force Base said he did.
A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.
The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.
(Reuters) - A Black Hawk helicopter went down in central Minnesota on Thursday, killing all three soldiers on board, after it lost contact with the Minnesota National Guard during a maintenance test flight, Governor Tim Walz said on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.