Kurd militia says three foreign members killed in Syria

US support for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) is another source of tensions with Turkey (AFP Photo/BULENT KILIC) (AFP)

Beirut (AFP) - The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) said Sunday that three of its foreign members were killed in Syria, including two in the northern enclave of Afrin.

The Kurdish militia, the backbone of a US-backed force that has fought the Islamic State group, named the fighters as French national Olivier Francois Jean Le Clainche, 41, Spanish national Samuel Prada Leon, 25, and Dutch national Sjoerd Heeger, 25.

The YPG said Le Clainche and Leon were killed "in the clashes with the occupiers at the Jandairis front on February 10."

Jandairis lies in a southwestern pocket of the Afrin enclave which is the target of a Turkish-led assault against Kurdish forces.

The area, close to Turkey's border, has been fiercely bombarded by Ankara and allied rebels in their nearly month-long assault on the YPG.

The YPG said the two men had joined their forces in the summer of 2017 to fight IS.

"These two comrades gave great efforts for the liberation of the main bases of IS, such as the cities Raqa and Deir Ezzor, and they participated continuously in the war lasting for months," it said.

Heeger was killed fighting IS in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province on February 12, the statement added.

Hundreds of foreigners have fought alongside the YPG in Syria.