Statement on American National apprehended near Sinjar

On 14 March 2016, a 26 year-old U.S. citizen, Mr. Mohamad Jamal Khweis, from Virginia, was apprehended by Peshmerga forces near Sinjar for attempting to enter the Kurdistan Region from the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Mosul in Iraq.

Mr. Khweis travelled through Turkey to Syria in December 2015 accompanied by a young Iraqi woman. He arrived in Iraq in late January and later fled, he claims, to return home. The journey from the United States included stopovers in a number of European countries.

We are in dialogue with our U.S. counterparts and authorities about the individual and case.

He is in the Kurdistan Region being questioned by relevant security authorities and is provided the care afforded to him under international and local law.