Turkey to deport ISIS fighter stranded in no man’s land to United States

A U.S. national and Islamic State (ISIS) former fighter who has been stuck in no man’s land between the Turkish and Greek border after Turkey deported him and Greece refused to accept him will now be sent to the United States, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to unleash thousands of captured ISIS members on Europe unless it revises its criticism of Turkey.  

Turkish authorities attempted to deport Muhammad Darwis B., reportedly a U.S. citizen of Jordanian dissent caught in Syria, across its land border to Greece on Monday. But the former ISIS fighter was stuck in no man’s land after Greek authorities denied him entry. 

"The necessary legal procedures to send the foreign national terrorist to the United States have started after the United States guaranteed to let him in the country and issue his travel documents,” Turkey’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Saturday that Turkey would start repatriating ISIS members captured in Turkey and Syria to their countries of origin. Soylu said on Thursday that an ISIS fighter with British nationality had been sent back to London, while seven from Germany had been sent to Berlin.

Western countries criticised Turkey’s military operation launched last month against Kurdish forces in Syria for creating the risks of a possible ISIS resurgence. Syrian Kurdish forces led the ground war against ISIS in Syria, while the U.S. killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi close to the Turkish border last month revived accusations that Turkey had backed the extreme jihadist group.