Freeing of man from Kurdish prison 'like a dream Christmas present'

The father of one of three men freed from jail in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq has said his freedom is like a dream Christmas present.

Joshua Molloy, from Ballylynan, Co Laois, a former Royal Irish Regiment soldier, was incarcerated along with British citizens Joe Akerman, also a former soldier, and Jac Holmes, after crossing a border with Syria.

The three had spent months fighting against the Islamic State.

It is understood they were freed last night, with Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan first to break the news to the Molloy family.

Declan Molloy, Joshua's father, said emotions in the family were running wild.

"We are all delighted here. We are jumping with joy to know that he is out," he said.

"You know that Christmas morning feeling, it's a bit like that, when you find your most sought-after present under the tree, the dream present. That's how we feel."

A Foreign and Commonwealth spokeswoman confirmed the release of the two Britons.

"We are helping two British men make arrangements to leave Kurdistan after they were released from custody," she said.

It is understood they had been with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a force reported to have in the region of 25,000-50,000 fighters trying to quell IS in northern Syria.

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