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Italian killed fighting ISIS in Rojava: ‘I have no regrets’

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Reportage. ‘I died doing what I believed was right,’ said Lorenzo Orsetti, 33, from Florence, who died in Syria this weekend. Meanwhile, the Italian government has tried to target other anti-ISIS fighters using fascist laws that strip citizens of civil liberties without trial.

written by Chiara Cruciati

Topic Italy


March 20, 2019

“I have no regrets. I died doing what I believed was right, defending the weak and staying true to my ideals of justice, equality and freedom. Always remember that ‘every storm begins with a single raindrop.’ And try to be that raindrop yourself.”

These are the words that Lorenzo Orsetti, a young Italian fighter, left behind in case he was killed in action. The Kurdish YPG defense units released his message on Monday after the confirmation of his death at the hands of ISIS. On Tuesday, the Kurds published a video Orsetti had recorded in which he says: “I am an anarchist, I believe in freedom. If I had to do it again, I’d make the same choices a thousand times over.”

Orsetti—known in his unit by the nom de guerre Tekoser, meaning fighter—was a 33-year-old from Florence who was killed in Baghouz, in the last territorial enclave held by ISIS in Syria. In the heat of what has been called “the final battle,” thousands of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen fought the hundreds of Islamist militants making a last stand in the village there. The ISIS fighters were few, but—as everyone feared—determined to fight to the bitter end. Orsetti, “Orso” (“Bear”) to his friends back in Italy, died in an ambush together with his whole unit.

By Monday, even though news of his killing had emerged, nobody from the state institutions had gotten in touch with the Orsetti family. “I would have liked it if the institutions, the politicians, had reached out to us, but no one has gotten in touch with us,” his father Alessandro told il manifesto on Monday. “Even if his body has not been found … there are still his photos, his documents. We found out from the TV. Then it was confirmed by the Kurds, his commanding officer called us. He invited us to go there for the commemorative service, as Lorenzo’s wish was to be buried in........

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