A Queensland man who’s been fighting alongside Kurdish forces battling Islamic State in Syria is set to be deported back to Australia after being detained in Germany.
Ashley Dyball, 23, was detained after entering Germany while on a break from the conflict zone in northern Syria, where he had been fighting with the YPG, also known as the People’s Protection Unit.
The YPG are closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which the Australian government continues to list as a terrorist organisation.
Dyball posted on social media on Friday that he expected to be deported to Australia over the weekend and was facing terrorism charges.
He was due to be sent to the Eisenhuttenstadt Detention Centre and “awaiting deportation from Germany to Australia in 2 days”.
“If anyone has a good German lawyer help a brother out been charged as a terrorist,” he posted.
Australian authorities confirmed to AAP an Australian man was being provided with consular assistance in Germany.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to an Australian man detained in Germany. Due to privacy constraints, we will not comment further,” a spokesperson said.
Dyball travelled to the front line in May this year despite federal government warnings it’s an offence for Australian citizens to involve themselves in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
Those found to have been involved in the fighting face prosecution upon their return to Australia.
Dyball told his family he was taking a holiday when he departed earlier this year, but instead headed to Syria.
If charged under foreign fighter laws, Dyball faces up to 25 years in prison.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton warned earlier this year that Dyball would face prosecution upon his return to Australia.
“The reality is … they either die on the battlefield or come back to face jail,” Mr Dutton said in June.
“We have trained Australian soldiers who are aiding the fight against ISIS and potentially their lives are put at risk if mercenaries – however well intentioned – are running around in the same theatre of conflict.”
Dyball has documented his time in the battlefields of northern Syria, sharing photos of the conflict’s horrors as well as images of himself holding a gun with fellow fighters.