Turkey said Monday it had deported two hostages from Islamic State, a German and an American, starting a program to repatriate detainees that have caused conflicts with its NATO associates since it launched an offensive in northern Syria.
Ankara says it has captured 287 militants in northeast Syria and already holds lots more Islamic State suspects. It has accused European nations of being too slow to take back citizens who traveled to fight in the Middle East.
Allies have been worried that Islamic State militants may escape as a result of Turkey’s assault against Syrian Kurdish militia who’ve been holding 1000’s of the group’s fighters and tens of thousands of their family members.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had said last week Turkey would start to send foreign Islamic State militants back to their home nations beginning on Monday.
Ministry spokesperson Ismail Catakli stated one American and one German were deported on Monday. He didn’t specify where they had been sent, though Turkey has repeatedly stated detainees could be sent to their native nations.
Greek police said Turkish law enforcement officials came to the border post on the Greek city of Kastanies Monday and requested that an American citizen of Arab origin accompanying them be admitted to Greece as he had been held for exceeding his keep in Turkey.
The person was denied entry and returned to Turkey, accompanied by the Turkish police, the statement from Greek police headquarters stated. It was not clear if he was the American called by the interior ministry.