A former British soldier alleged to have fought alongside Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria had terrorism charges against him dropped on Tuesday.
James Matthews, from east London, was due to face trial in November after being charged with receiving training in Iraq and Syria on or before February 15 2016 “for purposes connected to the commission of preparation of terrorism”.
The 43-year-old was believed to be the first person to be prosecuted for terrorism in Britain for assisting a group already helped by the British government.
But state prosecutor Tom Little said at a hearing at London’s Old Bailey on Tuesday that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction on “evidential grounds”.
Hundreds of foreign fighters from countries including Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the United States have fought alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.
The group is a key component of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance which waged a successful campaign against Islamic State jihadists.