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Turkey Deports US Citizen in Push to Repatriate IS Fighters

FILE - Men, believed to be Islamic State fighters, are taken prisoner after Democratic Forces of Syria fighters advanced in the southern rural area of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, May 31, 2016.

Turkey has deported citizens of the United States and Denmark who fought for Islamic State as a part of a plan to repatriate foreign jihadists held in Turkey.

Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli did not identify the two fighters deported Monday but said a German would also be sent home later in the day.

He said the country would also deport nine other Germans, 11 French and two Irish nationals.

The move comes just weeks after the interior minister said Turkey was not a "hotel" for IS fighters. Turkish officials have criticized the West for refusing to take back their citizens who joined Islamic State as it fought to establish a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Ankara has not specified to which countries the fighters would be deported. Turkish media reported that a U.S. citizen had been deported to Greece and that Greek authorities had refused to receive him.

A State Department spokeswoman said Monday that Washington was "aware of reports of the detainment of a U.S. citizen by Turkish authorities. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that some 2,500 foreign IS fighters are in prison in Turkey.

Dutch children

Also Monday, a court in the Netherlands ruled that the Dutch government "make all possible efforts" to repatriate 56 Dutch children held in camps in Syria.

It also said that 23 mothers who had appealed to return to the Netherlands did not have a right to come home unless their return was deemed necessary for the repatriation of the children.