A young Finnish man has been killed in Syria while fighting with rebel forces, according to reports in the Finnish media. The man, who is believed to have died in Aleppo towards the end of June, was fighting for the Syrian rebels against the country’s government forces.
The man’s father was from Namibia, which has close ties with Finland, and his mother was Finnish, while he converted to Islam upon reaching adulthood.
The man reportedly joined up with rebel forces in Syria last summer along with a number of other Finnish nationals. He had completed his compulsory national service in Finland and had a desire to study Islam overseas. He travelled to Syria with his Finnish wife, who gave birth to a baby just two weeks prior to his death.
Finland’s Security Intelligence Service (Supo) has not confirmed or denied the report, but Chief Inspector Tuomas Portaankorva said dozens of Finns have travelled to Syria to offer humanitarian aid or to fight over the past few years. He also spoke of his concern that whole families were travelling into a warzone.
According to UN figures, around 100,000 people have lost their lives in the Syrian fighting over the last few years.