Canadian anti-IS fighter detained in Australia

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Sydney, Feb 3 (IANS) A Canadian national who allegedly fought against the Islamic State (IS) terror group alongside Kurdish forces has reportedly been detained while trying to enter Australia on Wednesday and will be deported, the media reported.

Robert Somerville, a Canadian veteran who previously fought in Afghanistan, was detained at Brisbane Airport on Tuesday after he told immigration officials that he had fought alongside the Syrian-Kurdish militant group YPG for several months in 2015, Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

Australian authorities believe that Somerville is a friend of Australian anti-IS fighter Ashley Dyball who was arrested and extradited from Germany last year, but was subsequently released after being questioned by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“They were very curious about what he did in Syria and how he was, his character, and I answered truthfully that he was a good guy and he was doing good work,” Somerville said.

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It’s believed Summerville’s visa had been cancelled because he failed to disclose the Kurdish nickname he was given by fellow YPG fighters despite there being “no legal document with a different name for me”.

Australian immigration officials did not immediately comment.

Sommerville’s Australian lawyer Jessie Smith believes that his pending deportation may be contestable as the exact basis of the visa cancellation “at this stage is unclear”.

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