UK

UK soldier killed fighting IS in Syria named as Sgt Matt Tonroe

Sgt Mat Tonroe Image copyright Ministry of Defence

A UK soldier killed in Syria while in combat against the Islamic State group has been named as Sgt Matt Tonroe.

The 33-year-old, from the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, was killed by a roadside bomb on Thursday.

He had been embedded with US forces as part of a counter-terrorism operation.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said "his sacrifice, unflinching commitment and bravery" would never be forgotten, while his commanding officer said his bravery was matched by his compassion.

It is believed Sgt Tonroe was killed near the town of Manbij in northern Syria in a night-time operation against IS.

An American soldier was also killed and five other personnel wounded, US officials said.

'Utterly selfless'

Sgt Tonroe, who was born in Manchester, enlisted in the Army in 2004 and joined the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in Colchester on completion of his training, where he served as part of the Sniper Platoon.

During his career he was deployed on operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "He was well known within his unit, well-liked by all and he will be sorely missed.

"When talking of Matt, his colleagues recount his humour, mischief and endless endeavours. Laid back, but a consummate professional, Matt was utterly selfless and always strived to achieve excellence."

His commanding officer said Sgt Tonroe had been "destined for great things" in their unit.

"Without Matt, our company has lost some of its humour; some of its warmth; and some of its sheer opportunism."

Another commanding officer said: "Matt Tonroe was a deeply intelligent man and one of life's characters.

"He was a caring and considerate soul, a loving and dutiful son and a friend to many.

"Yet he had a steel core, served his country with pride and was a first-class soldier, proven in combat, faced risk willingly and was ever ready for more."

Mr Williamson said from the tributes it was clear Sgt Tonroe was "exceptionally dedicated and courageous" and a "gifted and intelligent instructor".

"Sgt Tonroe fought to protect British values, our freedoms and to keep us back at home safe," he said.

Sgt Tonroe is survived by his mother, Michelle, his brother, Alex, and girlfriend, Olivia.

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