Anna Campbell, from Sussex, was killed while volunteering as a freedom fighter in Syria, with the all-female Kurdish armed unit, the YPJ.

When Dirk Campbell received the call on Sunday that his daughter, Anna, had died, it was the news he had been dreading. Anna Campbell, from Lewes in Sussex was just 26 years old when she killed while volunteering as a freedom fighter in Syria, with the all-female Kurdish armed unit the YPJ. A qualified plumber in the UK, Campbell first travelled to Syria in May 2017 to help the Kurds, who were battling the Islamic State group. She died on 15 March this year in Afrin, which has been under bombardment by Turkish forces.

Described by her father as a ‘deeply principled’ and ‘determined’ person, Campbell had been been involved in human rights activism in Britain, and was originally inspired to fight when she learnt of the Kurdish aim of creating a democratic society in the wake of IS. She had been fighting with the YPJ in Deir ez-Zor, the largest city in eastern Syria, when she decided to move to the northern Syrian border where Kurds were under attack. Though her Kurdish colleagues apparently tried to prevent her going to the city under Turkish bombardment, she would not be stopped.