A former NT Labor president who joined Kurdish forces in Syria detained at Darwin Airport

Photo: Spencer Platt/ Getty

Former Northern Territory Labor party president Matthew Gardiner, who was fighting with Kurdish forces against Islamic State, was detained at Darwin Airport today on his return.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Gardiner, 43, returned to Australia this morning after spending three months in Syria and now faces jail time according to new Australian legislation.

Under Australian law, it is illegal for Australians to go and fight for either side in the conflict in Syria.

The former NT Labor president left the country in January undetected because he was not on a Federal Police watch list.

Gardiner, who was also the treasurer of the peak body Unions NT, had left his wife and two sons to join the Kurdish forces.

There are an estimated 100 westerners currently fighting with Kurdish forces.

Last month 28-year-old Australian Ashley Johnston was killed in Syria fighting with Kurdish forces against Islamic State militants.

Read more here.

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