Coloradan Jordan MacTaggart killed fighting in Syria

Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 09:29:49-04

DENVER -- A man from Colorado has died fighting with the People's Protection Unit (YPG) against the Islamic State in Syria.

"American YPG fighter Jordan MacTaggart KIA few days ago in Manbij," the group Assisting the Volunteers of Rojava wrote on Facebook. "We have lost a great hero."

MacTaggart's father confirmed to Denver7 on Tuesday that YPG contacted his family to tell them their son was killed. No further details have been released about his death.

His parents told Denver7's Liz Gelardi, their son loved people. He left the U.S. in early January to go back to Syria for a second time.

The U.S. Department of State told Denver7 Monday it is looking into reports that a U.S. citizen was killed in Syria, but they did not immediately have additional information. 

MacTaggart is now the second Colorado resident killed while fighting as part of YPG. An Arvada man, Levi Jack Shirley, also died fighting ISIS last month. His body has yet to be returned to the states.

MacTaggart's Facebook said he was from Alamosa. His page listed him as a soldier with the YPG in Syria. His parents tell us he attended high school in Castle Rock.

An article in the Boulder Weekly last year said MacTaggart was previously wounded and thought he was going to die.

MacTaggart told the newspaper he was an atheist, but he said when he researched the YPG, he found they shared many of his values and beliefs. He said he saw traveling to Syria to help them in their struggle against the Islamic State as something productive he could do with his life.

His parents released the following statement:

Our son made a clear minded, well researched decision to travel to Syria and join forces with the YPG – A Kurdish militia made up of male and female civilians. All volunteers organized and determined to fight the evil that is ISIS.

Jordan admired the Kurds from afar and grew to love them as a people and eventually his comrades in arms. Their cause became his. Without regret or remorse he was in Syria to do his best to help them. He was welcomed and loved in return. He spoke so highly of them and his fellow foreign fighters from all over the globe.

We love him unconditionally. We support him completely and our sincerest wish is that no one turns a blind eye to this ongoing Kurdish revolution. We support this cause and the selfless men and women in the YPG/YPJ.

Multiple people have written their condolences and memories on MacTaggart's Facebook page.

"He was a real character, full of charisma, funny, caring and extremely brave," Joe Robinson wrote. "On his first trip to Syria he was on an operation where he was shot in the leg and stranded, he did not go home but recovered in hospital there and went back to the fight. Jordan, you were a true hero and you will be missed by many.

"You were a hero," Kamal Spiecher wrote. "You have traveled along way to fight against terrorism and for the Kurdish case, You will be always remembered in the the freedom history. My condolences to your family and your beloved ones.


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