The repatriation of ISIS bride and former Irish Defence Forces recruit Lisa Smith to Ireland is set to be fast-tracked following Kurdish demands.
The Kurds want European-born ISIS sympathizers and other so-called ISIS brides to be sent home in groups to ease pressure on overcrowded refugee camps in northern Syria.
Smith was detained in early March after fleeing the remnants of the Islamic State terror group's "caliphate" in the war-torn region of Baghouz.
The 37-year-old Co Louth woman and her two-year-old daughter Ruqayya were granted permission to return to Ireland last month by Taoiseach (Prime-Minister) Leo Varadkar.
Varadkar and Tánaiste (Deputy Prime-Minister) Simon Coveney have indicated efforts were now underway to get the Dundalk woman and her child back to Ireland, according to the Irish Independent.
"If someone who had been in the Defense Forces for 10 years had, when the Troubles were taking place, then gone off to the Provos...there'd be no sympathy of any description." - @Alan__Shatter on suspected 'ISIS bride' Lisa Smith being treated as a victim. #TonightVMTV pic.twitter.com/jHwJorKVwp
— The Tonight Show (@TonightVMTV) March 27, 2019
It is believed the transfer of small groups of ISIS sympathizers to a third country such as Jordan or Turkey, for onward repatriation, will prove much faster than protracted individual transfers.
Ireland is liaising with groups such as Red Cross and Red Crescent to facilitate the transfer of Smith to a third country for onward repatriation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Coveney said previously that Ireland has a responsibility to Smith and her daughter and will try to bring her home.
“We have a responsibility towards her and, in particular, her daughter. We will try to follow through on that responsibility and find a way to bring her home. Part of the problem here is that this is a war zone or at least a former war zone and it is not that easy to actually get into these places," he said.
Lisa Smith, the Irish ISIS bride
Smith served in the Irish Air Corps and worked on Ireland's government jet, serving former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and former President Mary McAleese.
She reportedly left Ireland for Syria in 2015 after converting to Islam.
Smith recently appeared in interviews with CNN and ITV where she declined to give her name, but Irish media sources were able to identify her.
Speaking with CNN last month, she said: “I want to go home.
“I know they’d strip me of my passport and I wouldn’t travel, and I'd be watched kinda, but prison? I don't know. I’m already in prison."
"All the people here are not terrorists," said Smith.
ISIS: Stranded and rejected westerners
“Even if they put me in prison at home, it’s better than being here.” CNN gets rare access to Syrian camps where more than 1,000 foreign fighters remain stranded as their home countries seem reluctant to take them back.Publiée par CNN Connect the World sur Dimanche 24 mars 2019
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