September 14, 2017 / 6:56 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. citizen fighting for Islamic State surrenders in Syria: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An American citizen fighting for Islamic State in Syria surrendered to U.S-backed fighters earlier this week and has been handed over to U.S. forces, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The American surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed alliance of mostly Arab and Kurdish fighters, on or around Sept. 12.

“The US citizen is being legally detained by Department of Defense personnel as a known enemy combatant,” Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said in a statement.

It is not the first time an American citizen fighting for the group has been detained by U.S. allies.

In June, a Virginia man who traveled to Syria to become a suicide bomber for Islamic State was convicted of providing material support to the militant group.

Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 27, spent about 2-1/2 months in early 2016 traveling with Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq and participating in the group’s religious training.

He was detained by Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq in March 2016 and turned over to U.S. authorities.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Alistair Bell

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