VIDEO: Volunteer fighter’s parents had contacted Barnsley MP over concerns for his safety

Parents of the Barnsley man killed fighting against ISIS in Syria raised concerns for his safety with their MP.

Christopher and Vasiliki Scurfield, from Royson, recently contacted MP Dan Jarvis and spoke of their concerns for the safety of their son Kostandinos Erik Scurfield after he travelled to Syria to join Kurdish fighters battling against Islamic State.

In this undated image provided by Jordan Matson, Kurdish fighters and foreign volunteers fighting together against the against the Islamic State group, including American citizen Jordan Matson, second right, Australian citizen volunteer Ase Johnson, right, and British citizen Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, foreground, pose for a group photo in Sinjar, Iraq. Scurfield was shot dead on Monday, March 2, 2015 in Syria, a Kurdish commander said Wednesday. At least one other foreign fighter, Australian Ase Johnson, is known to have been killed fighting alongside the Kurds. (AP Photo courtesy Jordan Matson)

In this undated image provided by Jordan Matson, Kurdish fighters and foreign volunteers fighting together against the against the Islamic State group, including American citizen Jordan Matson, second right, Australian citizen volunteer Ase Johnson, right, and British citizen Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, foreground, pose for a group photo in Sinjar, Iraq. Scurfield was shot dead on Monday, March 2, 2015 in Syria, a Kurdish commander said Wednesday. At least one other foreign fighter, Australian Ase Johnson, is known to have been killed fighting alongside the Kurds. (AP Photo courtesy Jordan Matson)

He is believed to have left the UK in December.

Mr Jarvis raised the issue in Parliament last month, when he asked when for an estimate on how many British citizens had travelled to Syria and Iraq to support forces opposed to Islamic State.

Commenting on Mr Scurfield’s death, Mr Jarvis today said: “My first thoughts are with the Scurfield family.

“They came to me a few weeks ago very worried for their son’s safety and tragically it appears their worst fears have been realised.

Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis

“I have been in touch with them this morning and will be doing all I can to support them as their local Member of Parliament.

“It is important to remember that these are still only reports and we don’t have all the information yet.

“Erik was an experienced former Royal Marine who was horrified by the atrocities being carried out by ISIS.

“His family’s understanding was that he travelled to Syria hoping to provide medical and humanitarian support as an expert in battlefield medicine.

“The Foreign Office are clear that the situation in Iraq and Syria is very dangerous and that people should not travel to the region.

“There is an issue that needs to be addressed as Erik was certainly not the first person to travel to Syria to join forces resisting ISIS.

“There have been several reports of other British civilians doing the same thing, but the Government confirmed when I recently raised this issue in Parliament that there is currently no system to monitor or record people going to the region with the aim of joining the fight against ISIS.

“I wrote to the Foreign Office regarding this issue some weeks ago and will be now following up that letter in light on these events.”

Answering Mr Jarvis’ parliamentary question on the issue last month, Tobias Ellwood, Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, said: “We are aware of reports of a small number of British citizens fighting against ISIL in Syria and Iraq, but are not able to estimate accurately the total number.

“The UK advises against all travel to Syria and against travel to much of Iraq. Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger.

“The Syrian National Coalition, which we recognise as the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people, have made clear that they do not want foreign fighters to come to their country.

“The best way for the British public to help the people of Syria and Iraq is to support UK registered charities that are providing humanitarian relief to those affected by the conflict.”

* Read more: Family of Barnsley man killed fighting ISIS pay tribute to their son

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