Canadian fighting with Syrian rebels killed in northeast -monitor

Wed Nov 4, 2015 8:23pm EST
 
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BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Canadian national fighting alongside Syrian rebels was killed in the northeast of the country on Wednesday in a suicide bomb attack carried out by Islamic State, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

U.S.-backed rebel alliance the Democratic Forces of Syria, which includes the Kurdish YPG militia, launched an offensive last week against Islamic State in the northeastern province of Hasaka on the border with Iraq.

Fighting has been concentrated near the town of al-Houl.

It was near al-Houl where the blast killed the Canadian citizen at dawn on Wednesday, the Observatory said in an initial report, without elaborating.

U.S.-led air strikes have been targeting Islamic State in north and northeastern Syria as its partners on the ground put pressure on the group.

Canada's foreign ministry said in a statement it was aware of reports of the death of a Canadian in Syria and was gathering additional information, but added that its ability to provide assistance was severely limited by the fighting.

The Canadian government has urged its citizens to leave Syria since November 2011.

"Canadians traveling to Syria, including those who travel there to join local campaigns to fight alongside any party to the conflict, must do so at their own personal risk,” it said.

(Reporting by John Davison; With additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Jeffrey Hodgson in Toronto; Editing by Alan Crosby and Ken Wills)