Turkey begins returning IS fighters, deports U.S

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had warned that Ankara would begin to send back Islamic State militants to their home countries even if their citizenships have been revoked

Turkey says it has sent back to the U.S. an American belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group, as part of a drive to repatriate captured jihadist fighters.

"A United States IS fighter, whose procedure has been completed, is deported on Monday morning", the Interior Ministry Spokesperson Ismail Catakli told semi-official Anadolu news agency.

The deportation of a German national ISIL fighter was in progress, the official said, adding that a Danish ISIL member would also be repatriated on November 11.

Two Irish nationals, two German nationals and 11 French nationals who were captured in Syria would also be transferred to their countries of origin soon, he added.

Earlier, Turkey said it would deport seven Germans after state media reported Ankara had begun the repatriation of captured Islamic State militants.

The Department of Foreign Affairs would not confirm the news this afternoon - with one source saying they'll wait to see if Lisa Smith is actually on the plane home before reacting.

Greek police said in a statement that Turkish authorities had first tried to deport a United States citizen of Arab origin on October 11 on grounds that he had exceeded his legal stay in Turkey.

Soylu did not provide any numbers or further details on those who would be sent back. Denmark, Germany and Britain have so far revoked some citizenships. Experts say some countries may have trouble accepting them.

Governments may then find themselves accused of allowing back in risky men and women who pose a risk to national security.

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A German foreign ministry official confirmed the legal proceedings involving the 10 German nationals, saying they included three men, five women and two children.

A Dutch court in The Hague ruled on Monday the Netherlands must help repatriate children of women who joined Islamic State, but the mothers do not need to be accepted back.

Following the operation, the Turkish government has increased pressure on Europe to take responsibility for the problem.

"We are not a hotel for anyone's Daesh members", the minister, Suleyman Soylu, told reporters last week, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, or ISIS.

The repatriations follow Turkey's offensive into northeast Syria against Kurdish YPG militia last month, when USA president Donald Trump withdrew his troops from the region.

Turkey said it would take control of captured jihadists in areas that it seized from Kurdish groups, but demanded greater assistance from Europe.

Several European countries, including Britain, have stripped IS fighters of their nationalities, to prevent their return.

Turkey's Sabah newspaper, which is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, reported that the USA citizen who had been deported was stuck in a heavily militarized no man's land between the Greece and Turkey borders.

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