Turkey has said it sent eight people with links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group to Germany and Britain.

NATO allies of Turkey in Europe have been worried that Turkey’s offensive last month into a Syrian border area could lead to ISIL suspects and their families escaping from prisons and camps run by Kurdish forces. Ankara has dismissed the concerns.

Turkish authorities said on Monday they had begun to send ISIL detainees back to their home countries, deporting a German and a US citizen. 

Seven prisoners deported from Turkey landed in Berlin, the Reuters news agency said. The group included two men, four women and a child, the agency said.

Germany‘s foreign ministry had said on Monday that Ankara had informed Berlin of 10 people it aimed to deport – three men, five women and two children. The ministry has said it does not know whether any were ISIL fighters but it confirmed their German citizenship.

German authorities were not expected to arrest them.

“The difficulty German authorities face is that under the German law, these people cannot be charged for any of their activities in the Middle East,” Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane said from Berlin.

“They are perceived innocent and they will go back to their lives in Germany.”

Police in Britain said they had arrested a 26-year-old man at Heathrow Airport in London on Thursday on suspicion of terrorism offences related to Syria. He had arrived from Turkey but it was not immediately clear if he was the British fighter that Turkey said it would deport.


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