Two Americans killed fighting in Raqaa alongside Syrian Kurds

Nicholas Warden, 29, and Robert Grodt, 28, died last week on the outskirts of Raqqa, according to U.S. officials. Reuters

Two Americans fighting alongside Kurdish forces in northern Syria were killed last week as the battle to retake the Islamic State’s de-facto capital there continues well into its second month, The Washington Post reported.

Nicholas Warden, 29, and Robert Grodt, 28, died last week on the outskirts of Raqqa, according to U.S. officials and a statement released by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, known as the YPG. Warden served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and spent another stint in the the French Foriegn Legion, a fellow YPG fighter said. Grodt did not appear to have any prior military service. Another westerner, a British man named Luke Rutter, was also killed in the fighting, the statement said, The Washington Post added.

In a video posted by the YPG, Warden said he was from Buffalo and traveled to join the YPG in February to fight the Islamic State because of the attacks inspired by the terrorist group in places such as San Bernardino and Orlando. His father, Mark Warden, said that he had “extensive military experience,” including two deployments to Afghanistan and five years in the French Foriegn Legion with more than 100 airborne jumps. He added that his son had also fought the terrorist group Boko Haram in Chad, The Washington Post indicated.

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