Kurdish YPG fighters
Kurdish YPG fightersFlash 90

Levi Jonathan Shirley, an American Jew who volunteered to fight for the Kurdish militia in northern Syria, was killed in action on July 14th in the fierce ongoing battle to liberate the city of Manbij from ISIS hands.

The Kurdish militia said in a statement that the Nevada-born Levi joined the militia in February of 2015, returned to the US, and came back to rejoin the fight against the Islamic State.

Hundreds of volunteers from western countries have joined the Kurdish militia in recent years, mostly Christians from Europe and the Americas. At least 12 of these volunteers have been killed in action.

Shirley was “known for his discipline and sense of responsibility” and his presence “always raised the morale of his co fighters” according to the statement. “He was known for his bravery and sense of self-sacrifice.”

Jayson Pihajlic, a former US marine who fought alongside Shirley, remembered his friend:

“He was always full of life, and comedy. The kind of guy that went out of his way to make everyone laugh. Even doing standup comedy shows for us."