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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Briton charged with terrorism offences in Turkey

The former soldier was arrested in Turkey and is accused of fighting alongside the YPG

Turkey considers the YPG, members of which are pictured here, to be a terrorist group. Sedat Suna/EPA
Turkey considers the YPG, members of which are pictured here, to be a terrorist group. Sedat Suna/EPA

An ex-British army soldier from Leeds and his fiancée have been charged with terrorism offences in Turkey, reports the BBC.

Joe Robinson, 24, was detained in the Aegean holiday resort town of Didim in Aydin province. Robinson, from northern England, was with his Bulgarian his fiance Mira Rojkan and her mother when they were arrested in Didim last month.

The women were released, but Mr Robinson remains in jail.

Turkish police launched the raid to arrest him after receiving a tip-off by email.

He was arrested after posting pictures on social media allegedly showing himself in camouflage gear taking part in Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) operations in Syria.

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Robinson is accused of spending five months fighting as a volunteer with the Kurdish militia group YPG who are fighting ISIL in Syria.

He has been charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation.

His fiance has told the BBC she has been charged with sharing terrorist propaganda.

This is said to have included the Iraqi Kurdistan flag and a YouTube video of a Kurdish song from Syria.

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group and the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

But Washington considers the YPG as the main fighting force on the ground in Syria against the Islamic State group.

The United States is now openly arming the YPG and the group is heavily involved in the US-backed operation to oust IS jihadists from their stronghold of Raqa.

The YPG has also attracted the services of foreigners -- many with no Kurdish family origin -- to fight against IS in Syria and Iraq. Several have lost their lives.

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