ISIS Fighter Stranded In Turkey-Greece No Man’s Land to Be Sent to U.S.

DHA/DHA/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S.-Jordanian dual national Islamic State fighter who has been stranded on the border between Turkey and Greece will be sent to the U.S., according to reports.

Turkey had been attempting to deport the jihadist to the European Union via Greece, but the Greek authorities refused to admit him — leaving him marooned in No Man’s Land between the Turkish and Greek border checkpoints in Thrace for three days.

It is not clear why 39-year-old Mohammad Darwis B., as the Turkish authorities have identified him, could not be deported to Jordan, or indeed transferred to the custody of the Russian-backed Syrian government to face charges — but it is reported that the United States has now agreed to provide him with travel documentation and take him in.

The attempt to send Darwis to Greece was supposedly undertaken after he himself requested to be sent to a “third country”, although why the Turkish authorities would pander to the wishes of an Islamic State jihadist is not immediately clear.

“Upon guarantees that he will be taken back by the United States and that travel documents will be procured, the necessary proceedings have been started to send him to the United States,” read a statement from Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior.

The U.S. authorities have been more cagey, with the State Department saying only that it was “aware of reports of the detainment of a U.S. citizen by Turkish authorities” but elaborating no further, supposedly due to privacy considerations.

The great majority of former Islamic State volunteers from the Western world hail from the European Union rather than North America, however, and the U.S. government has, like Turkey, been pressing European governments to take these jihadists — many of whom have been stripped of their European citizenship, as they are dual nationals or eligible for citizenship in their families’ country of origin — back into their countries.

“[We have been asking] France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused,” the White House said in October.

However, U.S. President Donald has previously conceded in a radio interview with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage that European governments may have been “smart” to turn down these requests, at least in some cases.

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