Turkey begins deporting Western ISIS fighters, promises more to come
© WikiMedia (VOA)
Turkey begins deporting Western ISIS fighters, promises more to come

Turkey announced Monday that they had begun repatriating captured foreign ISIS militants, beginning with the deportation of an American citizen and a Danish national.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced last week that Turkey would begin sending militants back to their home countries, even those whose citizenship has been stripped. The process of deporting numerous other foreign nationals has already begun, including citizens of Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Turkey has criticized the Western nations including Britain and the Netherlands for their refusal to take back their citizens who had joined ISIS. US President Donald Trump also urged European countries in February to take back their nationals and put them on trial.

An alleged American member of ISIS who was expelled from Turkey is currently stranded for the second day in a “no man’s land” between the Turkish and Greek borders. According to a Turkish official, he refused to return to the US and instead asked to be sent to Greece but was denied entry.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commented on the reports, saying “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.”

There are currently 1,200 foreign ISIS members in Turkish detention centers, and another 287 recently captured in Syria.