Once a volunteer medic for the Occupy Wall Street movement, 28-year-old Robert Grodt, an American anarchist, travelled to Syria last February to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, better known as the YPG, in their fight against the Islamic State group.
In a video posted by the Kurdish militia, Grodt explained why he left his five-year-old daughter and the rest of his family.
“My reasons for joining the YPG were to help the Kurdish people in their struggle for autonomy within Syria and elsewhere. Also to do my best to be able to fight [IS] and help create a more secure world,” he said.
He went on to apologise to his daughter for not being there with her.
On July 6, the YPG announced that Grodt had been killed on the outskirts of Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s stronghold in northern Syria. Along with Grodt, another American, 29-year-old Nicholas Alan Warden, was also killed. Precise details of their deaths are unknown, but according to the YPG, the deaths were the result of the militant group’s operations to capture Raqqa.