Buffalonian killed in Syrian battle

Jul 12, 2017

A U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia says a Buffalo native was killed fighting the Islamic State group in northern Syria last week.

The People's Protection Units, also known by their Kurdish initials as the YPG, announced Tuesday that volunteer Nicolas Alan Warden, 29, of Buffalo died in battle on July 5 in Raqqa, IS's de-facto capital. "He will be remembered for his courage and dedication to freedom," YPG says.

It says 28-year-old Robert Grodt from California, was killed on July 6 in the same battle.

The U.S. military has developed a close relationship with the YPG and its parent coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the war against IS.

The two men were not members of the U.S. special forces embedded with the Syrian coalition. U.S.-backed forces have conquered a third of Raqqa since launching the push on the city last month.