Irish man held after fighting ISIS freed from Kurdish jail

joshua molloy.JPG
joshua molloy.JPG

An Irish man held in a Kurdish jail for crossing the border illegally from Syria after fighting against the Islamic State has been freed.

Joshua Molloy from Ballylynan, Co Laois, a former Royal Irish Regiment soldier, was incarcerated along with two British citizens who fought alongside forces trying to defeat the terror organisation.

British diplomats based in Iraq spent the last week trying to secure his freedom along with Jac Holmes, a former IT worker from Bournemouth and Joe Ackerman, a former British soldier from Halifax.

Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed the release.

"I welcome Joshua's release and I am pleased that he is now on his way home to join his family in Ireland," he said.

"Would like to thank all those who helped to make this early release happen. My department will continue to provide consular assistance in this case."

The three were held together in a prison in Erbil after being detained as they tried to cross in Kurdistan on their way home from fighting ISIS in Syria.

Speaking to the Irish Daily Mail, Mr Molloy confirmed his motives were to help the Kurds.

"I was in the British army and I read what the Kurds were doing, fighting to protect innocent people in the face of Isis," he said.

"All those terrible things were happening to the Yazidis and we weren't doing anything about it, so I decided to come and help them."

He was also adamant that any other fighters thinking of heading to Syria should not go.

It is understood he was arrested by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) 10 days ago along with two Britons, Joe Akerman and Jac Holmes, as they tried to return home.