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Turkey sentences alleged British YPG fighter for 'terrorism'

Former British soldier, Joe Robinson, was arrested in Turkey last year after posting photos with YPG fighters in Syria.

A Turkish court has sentenced a former British soldier to seven-and-a-half years in jail for alleged links to a Kurdish armed group, which is proscribed by the government.

Joe Robinson was arrested in July 2017 in connection with photos he published of himself in camouflage with fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. 

The 25-year-old, who is from the northern English city of Leeds, was on holiday in Turkey at the time of his arrest.

A court in the western city of Aydin sentenced him for "membership of a terrorist organisation," private Turkish DHA news agency said.

The YPG is a US ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in Syria.

However, Ankara is hostile to the group because of its links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been in conflict with the Turkish state since the 1980s.

Robinson did not attend the trial for health reasons, DHA said.

According to state media, he is currently on bail and planning an appeal.

His Bulgarian fiancée, arrested along with him, was also given a suspended sentence of nearly two years for "terrorist propaganda," but she is currently in the UK, reports said.

According to British press reports, 25-year-old Robinson is a former soldier who served in Afghanistan in 2012 and went to Syria in 2015 to work in the YPG's health unit.

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