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Burial set for American killed fighting Islamic State

June 15, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Funeral arrangements for an American killed in Syria while fighting the Islamic State group have been set for later this week.

Keith Broomfield, who had no military training, is believed to be the first U.S. citizen to die fighting alongside Kurdish forces against IS.

Broomfield, 36, will be buried Wednesday at a private ceremony following a morning funeral at Grace Baptist Church in Hudson. A wake will be held at the church Tuesday evening.

Broomfield, a plant manager at his family’s Bolton-based business, Broomfield Labs Inc., died June 3. His body arrived in Boston’s Logan Airport on Saturday via a Turkish Airlines plane.

His obituary said “his heart was for the protection of the innocence of Kurdish women and children.” He is survived by his parents and five siblings.

Kurdish officials have said Broomfield died in battle in a Syrian village near the town of Kobani on the Turkish border and that hundreds of people came out to bid farewell to the American before his body was handed over to his family at a Turkish border crossing.

Broomfield had joined the People’s Protection Units known as the YPG on Feb. 24 under the nom de guerre Gelhat Rumet. The YPG is the main Syrian Kurdish militia that is battling the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria.

Broomfield’s parents have said their son felt compelled to fight against what he considered “evil.”

The YPG posted a video online in which Broomfield says he was in Syria “to do what I can to help Kurdistan. With everything that’s been going on, it seems like the right thing to do.”

“I just want to help the cause anyway I can,” he said.

Update hourly