Second Deghayes brother ‘dies in Syria’

A teenager from Brighton whose brother died fighting in Syria earlier this year has also been killed in the war-torn country, his father has said.

Jaffar Deghayes, 17, is believed to have died at the weekend after leaving home for Syria in a bid to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad’s government.

His brother, Abdullah, 18, died in Latakia province in April after leaving the UK in January.

Their father, Abubaker, said he was told of Jaffar’s death on Monday.

He said a third son, Amer Deghayes, 20, who also travelled to Syria, relayed the news to the family in Saltdean, East Sussex.

“Somewhere near Aleppo he was with a group of five people who were trained to go in as special force fighters,” said Mr Deghayes.

“They were surrounded by the Assad regime. Three of the five were killed.

“My son was shot with a bullet in his head. He lived for 15 minutes and then he passed away.”

Amer Deghayes interview with Newsnight in September
Amer Deghayes was interviewed by Newsnight in September

The Deghayes brothers are nephews of Omar Deghayes, who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay detention camp between 2002 and 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan.

Following the death of Abdullah, counter-terrorism officers raided the Deghayes family home in May and seized material after a warrant was issued under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Mr Deghayes said the authorities had stopped him from trying to go to Syria to bring his sons back by keeping his passport for six months.

He said he had last spoken to Jaffar more than a month ago and in all his conversations with his sons had tried to encourage them to come home.

Omar Deghayes
Omar Deghayes was detained in Guantanamo Bay for five years

He said his message to all young Muslims planning to go to Syria “out of kindness or to try to make a difference” was “do not go”.

To the British government he said:”The strategy you are using with our sons does not work. You are criminalising them out of the fear they might become a threat to this country.

“Do not push them to be radicalised and used by groups like ISIS who are out for blood.

“You should have a strategy where you teach youngsters in this country to work in relief work and how to help in a civilised manner.

“They should be treated like a youngster who made a mistake and not put in prison.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Syria.

“The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, where all UK consular services are suspended.”

Sussex Police said: “The South East Counter Terrorism Unit and Sussex Police are aware of recent social media postings reporting the death of man who may have come from Brighton, during fighting in either Syria or Iraq.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-29810501

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