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British Jihadist Jaffar Deghayes, 17, Killed Fighting in Syria

Second brother of British jihadist featured in VICE News film is dead, his father has said.
Omar Deghayes

A 17-year-old British Muslim whose brother died fighting in Syria has also been killed, according to his father.

Jaffar Deghayes is thought to have died over the weekend after leaving his home near Brighton to join the fight against Bashar al-Assad's government. He is one of three brothers who traveled to Syria and the second to die after brother Abdullah, 18, was killed in Latakia province in April. The three left the UK earlier this year to take up arms with Jabhat al-Nusra, an al Qaeda-affiliated group.

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Amer, the 20-year-old brother of the pair who VICE News filmed with in Syria in June, told their father Abubaker Deghayes that Jaffar had been killed in battle.

Omar Deghayes, Jaffar's uncle, who was held by the US in Guantanamo Bay between 2002 and 2007, wrote on Facebook: "As you grieve know that we are remembering you and honoring the memory of a sincere and truthful young man (deceased). May the peace which comes from Allah accept yours."

In June Amer told VICE News that his younger brother was "a lion" and that he could not go back since he had travelled to Syria to join him.

Amer said: "You know, it was his choice, he didn't tell anyone that he was coming and he just came here.

"But now obviously he can't go back, and he has a duty as well, and he really feels strongly about what he is willing to do. So all my job is now is to make sure he does things correctly and he doesn't go astray. And I'll look after him."

He added: "I wouldn't advise him to go home because of the campaigns and the policies about people returning home. We come here, we live in honour, why would you go back to prison?"

Amer also said that his brother Abdullah, who had recently died, was killed for a "really good cause."

Speaking about Abdullah, he said: "My brother was killed on the front line, when he was the furthest person in the front. When he ran in the army actually ran away and retreated, so he was killed for a really good cause. And his death was a sign of martyrdom, as he feel back, he laughed and he smiled. I have a really stong feeling that he is still alive."

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Syria."

Watch: The Rise of British Jihadists in Syria