Irish Army Ranger Wing deployed to Syria on mission to evacuate Lisa Smith

The Irish Army Ranger Wing (ARW) is the special unit in the Irish Defence Forces. The Army Ranger Wing is Ireland’s hostage rescue unit and they are closely related to specialised Irish Emergency Response Unit (ERU). Sciathán Fiannóglach an Airm (Irish: Army Ranger Wing) and An Garda Síochána (Emergency Response Unit) are training together and in of any hostage situation, the Irish Ranger Wing could be requested to support the ERU. (Photo: Irish Army)

The Irish Army Ranger Wing (ARW) operators and other Defence Forces and Government officials are deployed to the Middle East to execute a “Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation.” The goal is to repatriate the infamous Islamic State supporter Lisa Smith and her young daughter.

Lisa Smith (38) has become publicly known after she left Ireland several years ago. She traveled to Tunisia and then to Syria where she joined up Islamic State and married one of its militants, a man who was later killed. Following the loss of most of the Islamic State’s territory, Lisa Smith was kept in a refugee camp in northeast Syria. She fled the camp last month with her daughter and walked north before being picked up by a Turkish-backed militia.

Her last known whereabouts are somewhere close to Syria’s border with Turkey where she is reportedly held captive by Turkish-backed militia. A delegation from the Department of Foreign Affairs, alongside Army Ranger Wing who is reportedly providing security and protection, has been deployed to the border area of Turkey to facilitate the return of Lisa Smith and her daughter to Ireland where she may face charges for aiding a terrorist group.

Members of the Army Ranger Wing (ARW), the Irish Army’s special forces arm, have also there to provide possible security advice, sources have confirmed. The move was first reported in this morning’s Sunday World newspaper.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs declined to comment this morning, citing its policy of not commenting on individual cases.

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