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American who relocated to Syria to fight as jihadi is confirmed dead

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad drive a tank past damaged buildings in Mleiha, which lies on the edge of the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus airport, after taking control of the area from rebel fighters Photo: Image by � Omar Sanadiki / Reuters

American who relocated to Syria to fight as jihadi is confirmed dead

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Aug 26, 2014

American Douglas McCain, who relocated to Syria to fight as a jihadi for ISIS, was killed last weekend during fighting between rival extremist groups near the city of Aleppo. His uncle, Ken McCain, has confirmed that the U.S. State Department informed the family of his death on Monday. Douglas McCain was 33.

"Douglas McCain converted from Christianity to Islam several years ago, according to his uncle," reports CNN. "The fact that he became a jihadi left his family 'devastated' and 'just as surprised as the country,'" Ken McCain, explains to CNN.

The family last heard from Douglas McCain several months ago when he said he was traveling to Turkey, according to his uncle.

"McCain was not the first American to fight alongside militants in Syria," CNN reports. "Attorney General Eric Holder estimated this summer that there are 7,000 foreign fighters in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation. 'Dozens of Americans, perhaps up to 100,' are among those who have tried to join various militant groups there, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told CNN."

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Julianne Cassidy is a newly Nashville-based entertainment journalist from Philadelphia.