American IS Fighter Stuck Between Greek, Turkish Borders

An American citizen accused of being a fighter for Islamic State is stranded in the no-man's land between the borders of Turkey and Greece after Ankara deported him.

Turkey's Demiroren News Agency has identified the man as Muhammed Darwis B, an American of Jordanian dissent.

Turkish officials told AFP that he had refused to be sent back to the United States, and asked to be sent to Greece instead. Greek authorities had refused to receive him.

President of the Center for Analysis of Terrorism in France, Jean-Charles Brisard, tweeted a video from local Turkish media that appeared to show an unidentified man, dressed in black, waving to cameras and standing just beyond the Turkish border.

"A jihadist American expelled by Turkey to Greece is literally stuck in the buffer zone separating the two countries after Greece's refusal to allow entry into the country," a translation of Brisard's tweet said.

He was deported Monday as was a Dutch national. It is not known what became of the Dutchman.

The deportations come just weeks after the interior minister said Turkey was not a "hotel'' for IS fighters. Turkish officials have criticized the West for refusing to take back their citizens who joined Islamic State as it fought to establish a Caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

A State Department spokeswoman said Monday Washington was "aware of reports of the detainment of a U.S. citizen by Turkish authorities. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that some 2,500 foreign IS fighters are in prison in Turkey. He has vowed to deport all of them.

Asked to comment on the American's predicament Tuesday, Erdogan said, "Whether [the deported Isis fighters] are stuck there at the border it doesn't concern us. We will continue to send them. Whether they take them or not, it is not our concern."

Also Tuesday, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said an Irish citizen and her two-year-old daughter, who are also set to be deported by Turkey, have the right to return to Ireland. It is not clear when Lisa Smith and her daughter are to be deported.

"The Taoiseach (prime minister) and I have always been clear that the adult in question, as an Irish citizen, is entitled to consular assistance and has the right to return to Ireland," Coveney told the Irish parliament.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had earlier said that a security assessment would need to be carried out to ensure that Smith "does not become a threat to life and limb in Ireland."

Smith was a private in the military and member of the Irish Air Corps. She quit the military service when she converted to Islam in 2011. She is thought to have gone to Syria in 2015 and later married British jihadi Sajid Aslam, who she says was killed.

Source: Voice of America