Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Australia repatriating eight children from ISIL families

Australian children of IS militants rescued from Syria camp Return of Khaled Sharrouf's children to Australia prompts call for further repatriations
Patty Aguilar | 25 June, 2019, 22:42

It came after Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday revealed that eight children whose parents were killed fighting for IS had been rescued from the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria and were on their way home.

He said the eight children were in the care of Australian government officials, but would not identify them or say when they would reach Australia.

"The opportunity now is for these young children who are coming back to Australia", Morrison told reporters in the western city of Perth.

The two daughters of his pregnant daughter, Zaynab Sharrouf, and the three offspring of slain fighter Yasin Rizvic were also rescued, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said.

Morrison said there was no blanket policy about Australia's repatriation of children stranded in Syria.

Morrison had for months said he would not risk any Australian official to rescue Australians from Islamic State group-held territory.

Both sets of children are being taken to a "safe location" outside of Syria before making the journey to Australia where they are likely to be settled in Melbourne, The Australian said.

The prime minister on Monday repeated his concerns over bringing back nationals from territory previously controlled by ISIL, adding that "repatriating these children was not a decision the Australian government made lightly".

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Return of Khaled Sharrouf's children to Australia prompts call for further repatriations
In Australia, the Sharrouf children will be placed in the custody of their grandmother while the Rizvic children will resettle in Melbourne.

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"The families do understand that some sections of the Australian public have fears and apprehension about the return of our young citizens", they said.

"It is not just physical wounds that have to be looked into but there are some other psychological issues, no doubt, that will have to be looked into". They also joined ISIS in 2014.

"We know the local community will rally around these women and children and do everything possible to help them reintegrate in society.

I think we need to keep it very much in perspective".

At least 50 more Australian children and women remain in camps in Syria, many sick and injured, Paul Ronalds, chief executive of Save the Children, a charity working in several Syrian camps, said in a statement.

The children's mother, Mrs Nettleton's daughter Tara, died of medical complications in 2015.

The group includes five family members of Khaled Sharrouf, an Australian terrorist who is infamously known for posing in a photo next to his son, then aged seven, who was holding a severed human head. Her husband and two eldest sons later died in an airstrike.

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