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‘I want to go home’ – Irishwoman in Syria

March 25, 2019

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Tánaiste Simon Coveney said “like all Irish people we want to look after them and bring them home if they want to come home.”  EAMONN FARRELL/ROLLING NEWS. IE

 

By Anthony Neeson

An Irish woman who is currently being held in a camp in Syria wants “to go home.”

The woman, who is believed to be former Irish Defense Forces member Lisa Smith, was filmed by CNN with her 2-year-old daughter.

Ms. Smith traveled to Syria three years ago.

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Speaking to a reporter, the woman said: “I want to go home.”

The woman, who is being held in a Syrian camp containing suspected Islamic State fighters, said that she is Irish.

She told CNN reporter Jomana Karadsheh Scott: “I think the people should just realize that all the people here are not terrorists. I want to go home.”

Asked if she was worried that she would be prosecuted on return home, she added: “I know they’d strip me of my passport, and I wouldn’t travel and I’d be watched, but prison? I don’t know. I’m already in prison.”

Speaking about Ms. Smith and her child, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said “like all Irish people we want to look after them and bring them home if they want to come home”.

He added: “This is a particularly unusual case as it involves a young child, and a mother, both of them Irish citizens in a war zone, in a camp that was linked to some partners and children of ISIS fighters, controlled largely by Kurds, and so it is more complicated than most consular cases would be, to put it mildly, but we do have a responsibility here as a State.”

The Tánaiste said that the Irish government are in close contact with Ms. Smith’s family and are keeping them informed about the situation.

“We have a responsibility towards her and, in particular her daughter, and we will try to follow through on this responsibility and find a way to bring her home,” said Mr. Coveney.

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