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Father 'scared' for sons in Syria
The father of a British teenager killed in Syria has said he is "scared" for his two other sons and urged them to leave the war-torn country where they have gone to fight.
Abdullah Deghayes, 18, from Brighton, is believed to have died in Kassab, in Latakia province, earlier this month after leaving the UK in January.
Abubaker Deghayes, who learned of his son's death on Monday via Facebook, said his two others sons, Jaffar, 16, and 20-year-old Amer have also travelled to Syria and pleaded for them to return.
He told The Guardian: "Amer, Jaffar, if you see me or this interview please, please come back home. Enough. This war has taken Abdullah already... I'd like to see you live longer."
Mr Deghayes revealed he travelled to Turkey earlier this year to meet Abdullah and Jaffar in an attempt to stop them entering Syria to fight.
He said Amer had already travelled there in December, and told him he had joined the jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra.
"I am scared for my children," he told the paper. "I don't want to lose them obviously. But they are becoming men now."
Speaking outside his home in Brighton on Friday, Mr Deghayes said his son had died a martyr in a battle which also saw Amer suffer a bullet wound to his stomach.
"I am sad for the loss of Abdullah but at the same time I can feel some comfort that he went for a just cause," he said. "The cause is to help those who are being bombed daily by Assad and killed by his bombings and air raids and soldiers for nothing except to ask for their freedom.
"I hope this was his intention, I hope he is rewarded and I hope he is in peace now."
Mr Deghayes insisted his three sons were not "terrorists" but had travelled to Syria to defend "those who are weak".
Abdullah, who was due to go to university in Brighton, is the nephew of Omar Deghayes, who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay detention camp between 2002 and 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan.
Around 400 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria over the last two years, authorities believe, with an estimated 20 having died.
Counter-terrorism investigators have expressed concern in recent months about aspiring British jihadis travelling to the country and becoming radicalised.
In January alone, 16 people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences related to Syria compared with 24 arrests in the whole of last year.
Those who have died include one man suspected of carrying out a suicide attack.
Abdul Waheed Majeed, 41, is believed to have driven a lorry to a jail in Aleppo before detonating a bomb in February.
The married father of three, who was born and raised in Crawley, West Sussex, left Britain in 2013, telling his family he was going on a humanitarian mission to Syria.
Photographs were also published in January of two British brothers, named in reports as Akra and Mohamed Sebah from north London, who were believed to have died in battle in the war-torn country in September.
Other Britons have died after going to help with humanitarian relief.
Dr Abbas Khan, a father of two from London, died while being held in custody by the Syrian government on December 17.
The family of the 32-year-old orthopaedic surgeon, who was captured in Aleppo in November 2012, claims he was murdered while being held prisoner. The Syrian government claims he committed suicide.