James Matthews has been charged "with attending a place or places in Iraq and Syria where instruction or training was provided for purposes connected to the commission or preparation of terrorism."

Former British soldier Jim Matthews appears in front of the Westminster's Magistrates Court after being accused of terror-related offenses on February 14, 2018.
Former British soldier Jim Matthews appears in front of the Westminster's Magistrates Court after being accused of terror-related offenses on February 14, 2018. ( AA )

A former British soldier who joined the YPG/PKK group to fight Daesh in Iraq and Syria was charged on Wednesday for receiving terrorism training in a landmark case.

Former soldier Jim Matthews appeared in front of the Westminster's Magistrates Court after being accused of terror-related offences.

Matthews was charged "with attending a place or places in Iraq and Syria where instruction or training was provided for purposes connected to the commission or preparation of terrorism," police said.

James Matthews, 43, is believed to be the first person to be prosecuted for terrorism in the United Kingdom for assisting a group helped by the British government.

Hundreds of foreign fighters from countries like the UK, Canada, France, Germany and the United States have fought alongside the YPG in northern Syria.

Although the UK has listed the PKK as a terrorist organisation since 2001, the YPG - its Syrian off-shoot - is not on the list.

Washington has called the group a "reliable ally" in its fight against Daesh in Syria even though its mother organisation, the PKK, is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and the EU.

The PKK has waged a bloody campaign against the Turkish state for more than 30 years, killing nearly 40,000 people.

During the hearing, YPG/PKK sympathizers abused Turkish journalists. A female TRT World correspondent was targeted in the courtroom. However, the court and the security failed to stop the abuse.

The court withheld Matthews' passport and ordered him to stay at his current address till the next hearing which has been set for March 1.

Source: AA