We are saddened to report that two people from the Denver metro-area were martyred recently, fighting Daesh with the YPG in northern Syria. Jordan Mactaggart has connections to some in our circles, as he was a young anarchist inspired by the revolution in Rojava, which makes this hit a little closer to home than usual. We send love and solidarity to his friends and family, and know that his young anarchist heart died with no regrets. Levi Shirley was the other recently martyred Coloradan, who also fought with the YPG. We don’t know if they knew each other, but all reports from the YPG is that they fought well and were dedicated warriors.
Rest in Power Levi and Jordan!
YPG statements for both martyrs:
Martyr Agir Şervan (LEVI JONATHAN SHIRLEY)
The Rojava revolution became a revolution for humanity which attracted the attention of the world with the valiance of the resistance of YPG, YPJ and the people of Rojava. One of them was our comrade Agir Servan, of US origin.
Heval Agir Şervan (LEVI JONATHAN SHIRLEY) came to Rojava in February 2015 and joined the YPG. Hevale Agir took part in the Martyr Rubar Qamislo Operation, always in the most advanced front. After the liberation of the Kezwane Mountains he went back to his homeland. In January 2016, Hevale Agir came back to Rojava to the YPG and rejoined the revolution in the defence of the Kobani and Cizire cantons. After that, he joined the Martyr Abu Leyla Operation for the liberation of Minbij.
Hevale Agir was known for his discipline and sense of responsibility. His style and personality were a source of strength, motivation, and morale for his friends. In the fight, Hevale Agir was known and respected as a brave and altruistic person.
We can say that Martyr Agir strenghtend our brotherhood and fought for the freedom of an oppressed people. The sacrifice of our comrade Agir has enriched the democratic revolution being fought in Rojava, His name has been written in the history of our brotherhood. We offer our condolences to the family of Martyr Agir Servan and to all the Martyr’s families.
Nom de guerre: Agir Şervan
Real Name: Levı Jonathan Shırley
Name of the Mother: Susan
Name of the Father: Russ
Place of birth: Amerîka/ Nevada
Date and plac of martyrdom: 14.07.2016 Minbic
A farewell from a friend – Macer Gifford about Heval Agir
I first met Heval Agir (Levi Shirley) on the frontline in Til Tamar in 2015. Even though he had only been in the country a few weeks he had just got out of his first major firefight with the Islamic State.
His unit had come under a brutal and sustained night attack by ISIS fighters. Agir and his comrades had the higher ground so after a long night 12 Isis lay dead and only one Kurdish fighter was slightly wounded. It was a brutal introduction to the International Volunteers in Syria but it was exactly what Agir wanted. He came to fight and participate in the destruction of one of the most vicious ideologies of hate this world has ever seen.
Agir had been a proud member of the US marines. In fact, he talked of little else! I’m not sure I’ve met a greater patriot of America or someone who knew so much about its military history. He taught me a lot, particularly about the US tradition of fighting in foreign wars.
For him, the fight against ISIS was like the young Americans that joined the British airforce during the Second World War. The American Eagles weren’t content to sit out the war and watch the facists roll over Europe. In the same spirit, Agir couldn’t stay at home and watch while ISIS raped and murdered their way across Syria.
Agir had a determination to see you smile! He was always cracking jokes and doing impressions of the people around him. A few months ago – to boost morale – he did a comedy routine for a couple of Kurdish units on the frontline. He had people in stitches, to say he was loved would be a understatement.
This was his second time in Syria, nearly 1 year of fighting ISIS on the ground. He came before the Obama administration realised the significance of the YPG alliance and it’s ability to ‘degrade and destroy’ ISIS.
He came for no pay. For no public recognition or medals. He came knowing that he risked death and terrible injury at the hands of a brutal and remorseless enemy. Even with all this considered, it was in Agirs nature to risk all that to protect the innocent people that suffer the most.
When Americans hear about his sacrifice, I hope it gives them great pride. We are one human race that shares one planet. It’s about time people realised that liberty and justice aren’t just words, they’re a birth right. Agir knew that the West could have done more to stop ISIS years ago. He felt compelled to make a difference so he led by example and paid the ultimate price.
Rest in peace old friend, you died a Kurdish and American hero.
Remembering Sehid Ciwan Firat (Jordan Mactaggart)
Nom de guerre: Ciwan Firat
Real name: Jordan Mactaggart
Name of mother: Malissa
Name of father: Robert
Birthplace: Colorado / USA
Place and date of martyrdom: Minbic, 3. August 2016
I met Heval Ciwan for the first time when were waiting to cross the border into Rojava in spring 2014. He was a shy young anarchist from the US who sat in the corner of our hut, not really enganging with the rest of us and constantly writing in his journal. Quite frankly, at the time most of us were concerned that he wasn`t cut out for war but within a couple of weeks he proved all of us wrong. Soon after finishing his training he joined tabur Soran, a unit notorious for being in every fight possible. In one of his first contacts with the enemy he got shot in the leg and due to some unfortunate circumstances he was left in the field when his unit withdrew. Heval Ciwan put on his tourniquite on and crawled back to friendly lines the entire night. Amongst the foreign fighters in Rojava this story became a legend, until today people talk about `the American kid that got shot in the leg and crawled out all night`. During his second trip to Rojava Heval Ciwan keenly participated in every single operation possible and when we weren`t fighting Daesh he would mange to get into the skirmishes with the regime.
I never actually spent time with Heval Ciwan in a tabur but we would run into each other on a regular basis. He was always cheerful and content when most of us would be bitching about the food, the climate, battle tactics etc. I always had the feeling that Heval Ciwan was where he belonged, that he found his second home in the YPG, while many other foreign volunteers were just passing through. I know that it is not politically correct to say, but Heval Ciwan grew up and became a man as soon as he joined YPG and saw battle. In no time he became the type of guy you want to have around when things got bad.
Heval Ciwan was also known as `Born Dead` after the tattoo on his wrists, a tattoo that expressed his rather complicated relationship with death and dying which, frankly speaking, I never really understood. Nonetheless, whatever this realationship entailed, as everyone else who had the honour of knowing him in Rojava would agree, Heval Ciwan was a great fighter and a good friend who was taken from us way to soon.
Sehid Namirin – My friend, I will never forget you,