War with Isis: Wounded Kurdish forces count the cost of battling militants in Syria

A squad of Syrian Kurdish fighters was ambushed as it advanced through a grove on the outskirts of a village held by Islamic State (IS) fighters near al-Hasakah in the Kurdish enclave in north-east Syria. Azad Judy, an 18-year-old Kurd, recalls: “We had divided into three groups that were trying to attack the village when we were hit by intense fire from behind and from the trees on each side of us.”

Azad, who comes from Nusaybin just across the border in Turkey, was hit by a single bullet in the spine. He says: “After being wounded, I tried to crawl away and then another fighter came and gave me first aid and an injection.” Azad is now lying in bed in the Shahid Khavat military hospital in the Syrian Kurdish city of al-Qamishli with a despairing look on his face because he may suspect that his legs are paralysed for ever and he will never walk again.