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U.S. citizen remains stranded at Turkish-Greek border

A U.S. citizen of Arab descent deported from Turkey remained stranded on his third day at the Turkish – Greek border after Greece refused to admit him on Wednesday (November 13).

A Reuters Television camera filmed the man standing in the buffer zone between the Turkish town of Edirne and the Greek town of Kasaines on Monday (November 11) – the same day when Turkey, which holds hundreds of Islamic State suspects in its jails, began repatriating Islamic State detainees.

The release caused friction with Turkey’s NATO allies since it launched an offensive in northern Syria.

Greek police said Turkish police came to the border post at Kasanies on Monday and requested that one of Turkey’s detainees, a U.S. citizen of Arab descent, be admitted to Greece as he had been arrested for exceeding his stay in Turkey.

Greek police said that a check carried out in a database of Greek and cooperating countries did not find anything against him, and that the man has been refused entry to Greece and sent back to Turkey. 

There is no confirmation that the man is connected with Islamic State or any group of foreign fighters from Syria detained by Turkey.

Turkish media reported on Wednesday he was staying in a van in the buffer zone between Turkey and Greece.

Turkey’s offensive against the YPG, U.S. partners in the battle against Islamic State in Syria, prompted concern that the detained Islamic State militants could break out and regroup amid the chaos.

Washington says that nearly all the 10,000 Islamic State suspects held by the SDF in Syria remain in captivity, but a senior U.S. State Department official described them on Tuesday as a “ticking time-bomb” and urged states to take back their citizens.

(Production: Omer Berberoglu, Yesim Dikmen)

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