Briton on fighting in Syria: ‘I was terrified the entire way’

In a quiet corner of a family pub behind Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park football stadium, Joe Robinson looks down at his pint. For the past two months, he explains, he has felt on edge and unable to sleep for more than two or three hours a night.

The 22-year-old former British soldier returned two months ago from Syria, where he had fought as a civilian alongside Kurdish forces against Islamic State militants during one of the civil war’s bloodiest periods. Since returning to Blackburn – penniless, jobless and homeless – he has found adapting to civilian life a struggle.