Tag Archives: fighter

Anti-Islamic State fighter Ashley Dyball’s family members prepare for his return

By Lexy Hamilton-Smith and Emma Blackwood

Updated December 06, 2015 20:23:36

The family of Australian anti-Islamic State fighter Ashley Dyball are flying to Melbourne to welcome him home this evening, where he will face the threat of prosecution for his activities in the Middle East.

His father, Scott Dyball — who felt hopeful that his son’s arrest in Germany would bring him home — appealed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull not to proceed with prosecution.

“This is wrong, what the Government is trying to do to him is wrong,” Mr Dyball said.

“The charges are just so ridiculous, they should be dropped.

“The law was unclear at the time, if they were clear the boys would not have gone.

“All we are asking is just an amnesty.”

Julia Dyball is also concerned for her son’s future.

“It is difficult and we are happy as well — happy we can go and tell him it is all OK — we are all here for him,” Ms Dyball said.

“We have no idea what is going to happen.

“We are going down to Melbourne because we know he is coming in at a certain time, and we will wait and see.”

Mother of fellow Australian YPG fighter supporting Dyball family

Gold Coast man Reece Harding, 23, was killed in June fighting for the Kurdish forces in Syria, when he stepped on a landmine.

His father Keith Harding said it was of some comfort to see Ashley Dyball return home.

“That was always our fear — that Ashley would come back like Reece — so it is a relief that he is home in one piece, that is for sure,” Mr Harding said.

Scott and Julia Dyball with Michelle Harding Photo: Ashley Dyball’s parents Scott and Julia Dyball (L) with Michelle Harding (R) — mother of Reece Harding who was killed when he stepped on a landmine in Syria. (ABC: Lexy Hamilton Smith)

Michelle Harding, Reece’s mother, has formed a bond with the Dyballs and recently travelled to Syria to help them try to bring their son home alive.

“I don’t want anyone else to be in our position [of losing a son],” Ms Harding said.

“When they went over there they knew the laws were in place but thought they were for [IS] terrorists.

“But, because the Government was very wishy-washy on it, people had gone over in the role our boys had gone over, and came back — they weren’t prosecuted.

“There was no indication they were going to apply it to people fighting against [IS].”

She said she wanted the Prime Minister to “do the right thing”.

“Don’t make him a scapegoat because you do not want to lose face,” Ms Harding said.

The 23-year-old Queensland man was deported from Germany on Saturday night after being detained while taking a break from the battlefield.

It is understood he was held by German authorities on the basis of his links to a Kurdish militia group fighting against IS in northern Syria.

Mr Dyball — also known as Mitchell Scott — will touch down in Melbourne, where it is expected he will be greeted by Australian Federal Police officers.

He has been fighting against IS forces with a Kurdish militia called the YPG in northern Syria and risks prosecution under Australian foreign fighter laws, which forbid entering a foreign country with the intention of taking up arms.

Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, government-and-politics, world-politics, federal-government, terrorism, australia

First posted December 06, 2015 20:20:29

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Turkey will not apologise for downing Russian fighter jet, PM says

Posted December 01, 2015 00:58:33

Turkey will not apologise for downing a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border, but Moscow need to reconsider retaliatory sanctions, Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu says.

“Protection of our airspace, our border is not only a right but a duty for my government and no Turkish premier or president … will apologise [for] undertaking our duty,” Mr Davutoglu told a joint press conference with NATO head Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s headquarters.

Mr Davutoglu added that “we hope Russia will reconsider these measures in both our interests”, referring to the sanctions that Moscow imposed right after the shooting down of the jet last week.

“If the Russian side wants to speak, we are ready if they want much more information, we are ready if they want to normalise relations, we are prepared to speak,” he said.

Mr Davutoglu made the announcement right after Russian president Vladimir Putin rejected an invitation to meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Paris worldwide climate conference.

Mr Erdogan had known as for face-to-face talks with Mr Putin as Moscow and Ankara trade furious charge and counter-charge more than who was responsible for downing the plane.

Russia’s government on Monday laid out a lot more specifics of retaliatory financial sanctions aimed at denting Turkey’s important tourism and agricultural sectors as Ankara said that it had returned the physique of the pilot to Russia.

Moscow announced it will halt fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey soon after Mr Putin signed a decree over the weekend banning charter flights and the sale of package holidays, and scrapping Russia’s visa-free of charge regime with the country.

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev called the moves a “initial step” as Moscow also stated it would limit Turkish transport firms and tighten controls on construction contracts.

NATO chief Stoltenberg said that while Turkey had each appropriate to defend its airspace, the concentrate now had to be on avoiding any escalation as the allies attempt to forge a frequent front — possibly which includes Russia — against Islamic State (IS) jihadist fighters in Syria and Iraq in the wake of the Paris attacks.

“I welcome Turkish efforts to establish contacts with Russia to de-escalate … it is crucial to stay calm,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

“I urge Russia to play a constructive function in Syria by targeting IS, our widespread enemy,” he added, referring to criticisms by Western nations that Russia has been targeting non-IS opposition forces in Syria.


Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, planet-politics, government-and-politics, turkey, syrian-arab-republic, russian-federation

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