Syrian air strike victim honoured by animal rights organisation

'Single-minded': Anna Campbell. Photograph by Katie Vandyck
'Single-minded': Anna Campbell. Photograph by Katie Vandyck

Anna Campbell, the Lewes woman killed in Syria while fighting alongside the all-female Kurdish armed unit YPJ, is being honoured by the international animal rights organisation PETA.

It said it was in recognition of her compassion “for all animals - both human and non-human”.

The organisation said Ms Campbell, 26, had been described as an ‘animal rights activist’ who would protect even the smallest of creatures.

A spokesman said: “In recognition of these efforts, PETA US is adding her name to its ‘Tree of Life’ memorial – a monument at its headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, honouring those whose actions have made a positive difference for animals. Her leaf inscription will read as follows: ‘Anna Campbell, Animal Rights Activist’.

PETA had been moved by the words of her father, Dirk Campbell, following his daughter’s tragic death.

He told media: “”It seems a small thing, but I remember when she was 11, she protected a bumblebee from being tormented by other kids at school.

“She did it with such strength of will that they ridiculed her. But she didn’t care. She was absolutely single-minded when it came to what she believed in.”

Mr Campbell will receive a duplicate leaf with a note of appreciation from PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to abuse in any way’.

His daughter is understood to have been killed in an air strike on Friday (March 16) in the city of Afrin, under bombardment by Turkish forces.

Ms Campbell travelled to Syria in May last year to help the Kurds in their battle against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Turkey sees the YPJ and associated YPG as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a link that the Kurds deny.