UK father hails son as martyr after death in Syria

UK father hails son as martyr after death in Syria
The father of a teenager killed in Syria says he learned of his son's death from Facebook as he insisted that his son was a "martyr".

Abdullah Deghayes (18) – whose uncle is a former Guantánamo detainee – is believed to have died earlier this month when he was fighting alongside his brother Amer (20), who suffered a gunshot wound to his stomach.

Their brother Jafar (16) has also travelled to Syria, their father Abubaker Deghayes has confirmed.

The family only found out about Abdullah's death after a photograph was posted Facebook and had no idea that he was in Syria, believing he had gone to Libya, where he has relatives, after running away in January.

Mr Deghayes, who travelled to Turkey earlier this year to meet Abdullah and Jafar, in an attempt to stop them entering Syria, said that Abdullah had made the journey without the consent of his family "to fight Syrians against the dictator Bashar al-Assad."

Speaking outside his home in Brighton, he continued: "He was killed in a battle.

"His brother, who is also there, is injured. The third brother who is also there is OK. He is fine. I never encouraged them, nor anybody, as far as I know, who is around them encouraged them. They went of their own free will. They went without taking consent from their parents.

"I am sad for the loss of Abdullah but at the same time I can feel some comfort that he went for a just cause. The cause is to help those who are being bombed daily by Assad and killed by his bombings and air raids and soldiers for nothing except to ask for their freedom.

"I hope this was his intention, I hope he is rewarded and I hope he is in peace now."

Mr Deghayes insisted his three sons were not "terrorists" but had travelled to Syria to defend "those who are weak".

He said his sons had been "stubborn" about travelling to Syria after seeing videos of the atrocities online.

Asked whether he believed Abdullah was a martyr, Mr Deghayes replied: "Of course I think, as a Muslim, that my son is a martyr.

"Anyone who dies for a just cause is a martyr."

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