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Monday 18 June 2018

Department of Foreign Affairs offers assistance as attempts underway to secure release of Irishman in Iraq

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

ACTING Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan is being kept “fully informed” about British attempts to secure the release of an Irish man arrested in Iraq.

Joshua Molloy (24), from Ballylinan, Co Laois, travelled to the region in April 2015 to fight against ISIS with forces allied to the Kurds.

However he was arrested by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Friday, along with two Britons Joe Akerman and Jac Holmes, as they tried to return home.

Mr Molloy and his friends had allegedly entered Iraq illegally from Syria. The KRG had closed the Iraq-Syria border.

The group was promised help from the KRG, but when that didn’t materialise they allegedly tried to make their way across the border on their own.

According to the Sunday Times, the group had been fighting with a Syriac Christian group, the MFS, which is allied to the Kurdish YPG.

The British Foreign Office has taken the lead to try and secure the release of all three men.

“We are aware of the case and we stand ready to provide consular assistance.

“Minister Flanagan is being kept fully informed,” a statement from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said.

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