Ireland hasn’t asked to bring home Isil bride Smith, say her captors –, Ireland


Original article by Norma Costello,

Mystery: Lisa Smith left Ireland to join Isil in 2015

Syrian officials say there have been no moves to repatriate Isil bride Lisa Smith from the war-torn country.

Dr Abdulkarim Omar, head of foreign relations in the autonomous administration of north-eastern Syria, yesterday said the Irish Government had not requested the repatriation of Smith.

Speaking in Qamishli, northern Syria, he added: “There have been no negotiations between Ireland and the north-eastern Syrian administration.”

Ms Smith, who spent 10 years in the Irish Defence Forces, left Ireland in 2015 and was smuggled across the Turkish border into Syria.

The Government has said Ireland would be willing to repatriate anyone suspected of leaving the country to assist Isil.

But in the meantime none of the Irish prisoners, children or women, has been returned.

Government sources claim regional complexities prevent them from working directly with the Kurdish-led de facto government.

NGOs like the International Red Cross are helping countries in the insecure region but they are often working with limited resources.

Sources close to Ms Smith’s family say they have not heard from the Dundalk native since her arrest by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic forces earlier this year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday: “It is our policy in providing consular assistance and of matters of security that commentary is not given on individual cases and the people or families involved or their background.”

Meanwhile, Alexandr Bekmirzaev, who also carries an Irish passport, is also being held in a prison in northern Syria.

The former bouncer, who was born in Uzbekistan, became a naturalised Irish citizen before leaving for Syria in 2013.

Garda sources say they have sent a file to the Department of Justice containing evidence that Mr Bekmirzaev obtained citizenship though a “sham marriage” with a European Union citizen.

It is believed the Government is considering whether to revoke Mr Bekmirzaev’s citizenship.

Such a move could see his wife and child – who are currently living beside Ms Smith in a secure section of a Syrian refugee camp for Isil family members – also stripped of any right to return to Ireland.