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Anti-Islamic State fighter Ashley Dyball deported to Australia

The lawyer acting for Ashley Dyball, a young Australian man who joined rebel Turkish forces fighting against Islamic State, claims he was only involved in de-mining efforts in Syria.

Mr Dyball, 23, flew into Melbourne last night after being detained in Germany while taking a break, and deported back to Australia. 

He was interviewed by the Australian Federal Police early this morning and released to his family pending further enquiry. 

Family and friends gathered at Melbourne airport last night to greet Dyball, who has now flown to his home state of Queensland with his parents.

His lawyer, Jessie Smith from Stary, Norton and Halphen lawyers, said it is not yet known if he will be charged under Foreign Fighters laws. 

The legislation prevents citizens from joining foreign rebel groups, however it is not a crime to join the armed service of a foreign government. 

Ms Smith told Ross and John that her client was only involved with de-mining efforts with the YPG, the Kurdish forces. 

Asked if that could form part of his defence in the future, she admitted it could but said: ‘We see the greater claim that the YPG constitutes a government armed force which is a defence under the foreign fighter legislation.’

Dyball’s parents have said they do not know why their son departed Australia for the Middle East in May. 

But lawyer Jessie Smith claimed he was ‘inspired’ by the work of the Kurds. 

‘There have been a number of young men who have made great sacrifices – often with their lives – to assist the Kurds.’ 

‘They’ve recognised from the beginning they are a democratic force, and probably the only democratic force in that region and it’s inspired a lot of young Australians.’

 

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