WASHINGTON: An American fighting for Islamic State was taken into custody in northern Iraq after emerging from territory controlled by the militant group in Syria, media reports said on Monday.
CBS News, citing two sources with the Kurdish peshmerga military force, said the American fighter was trying to return to Turkey. He was identified as Muhammad Jamal Amin, 27, of Virginia, it said, citing Kurdish news organizations.
The State Department said it was aware of the reports that a U.S. citizen allegedly fighting for Islamic State was captured by Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
“We are in touch with Iraqi and Kurdish authorities to determine the veracity of these reports,” a State Department official in Washington said on customary condition of anonymity.
CNN, which also reported the incident, said the fighter was captured near Sinjar and handed over to Kurdish authorities in the region.
Peshmerga forces initially fired warning shots when they saw the man on concerns he was a suicide bomber, but he identified himself as a former member of Islamic State who wanted to turn himself in, according to CBS.
Amin, whose father is from Palestine and mother from Iraq, had fought with the militants for a couple of months, it said, citing Kurdish reports.