Jordan MacTaggart, a 22-year-old American from Colorado, has reportedly been killed while fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria. MacTaggart is believed to have been killed on Aug. 3, 2016 while fighting ISIS jihadis in Manbij, Syria. Jordan’s father, Robert MacTaggart, told reporters that his son was shot in the chest while assisting another soldier that was attempting to disarm an IED so that a group of civilians could safely be cleared from a war zone. According to Robert his son was fighting with a group called the People’s Protection Unit, commonly referred to as the YPG, at the time of his death.
MacTaggart is one of many American citizens that have left their cushy suburban lifestyles to fight ISIS in the Middle East. He was traveling with another American and a Swede that also chose to join the YPG. MacTaggart’s parents claim that it was their son’s second trip to Syria to fight alongside the group. The told CNN:
“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,”
The YPG informed Robert MacTaggart of his sons death via phone shortly after the incident occurred. Robert claims that he had been following the group on social media for over a year in order to keep track of his son who at that point had spent over a year in combat zones with the YPG. MacTaggart was injured and forced to return home from his first trip overseas in October. He allowed his injury to heal then returned to the Middle East in January.
MacTaggart allegedly planned to join the military after his latest tour. His father claims that he pushed his son to join the military to no avail. He claims his son was emotionally invested with the Kurdish people. MacTaggart’s parents told reporters:
“He had a huge heart and he was always affected by any injustice,It would hurt him, probably more than other people, like he couldn’t let it go.”
The State Department has not commented on MacTaggart’s death. However, in the past they have issued blanket statements that specifically discourage American citizens from traveling overseas to fight with the YPG.