Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Return of Khaled Sharrouf's children to Australia prompts call for further repatriations

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Patty Aguilar | 25 June, 2019, 18:32

Heavily-pregnant 17-year-old Zaynab and her two daughters are among the eight children after a rescue mission by the Australian government.

Morrison did not name the children or elaborate on how they were removed, but confirmed they were "repatriated from the conflict zone into the care of Australian government officials".

Eight children of two Australian nationals who joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group are being repatriated from Syria, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.

"They'll find their home in Australia and I'm sure they will be embraced by Australians and as a result of that embrace, I'm sure they'll live positive and happy lives".

"They can't be held responsible for the crimes of their parents", Mr Morrison told reporters in Perth.

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

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

"Repatriating these children was not a decision the Australian government made lightly", he said in a statement.

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

The children were taken to Syria in 2014 by their mother, Tara Nettleton, who followed her husband to the war-torn country.

"The Australian government must do all in its powers to return all Australians who remain trapped in these camps".

In Australia, the Sharrouf children will be placed in the custody of their grandmother while the Rizvic children will resettle in Melbourne.

The orphaned children of notorious Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf reunited with their grandma Karen Nettleton.

Sharrouf was killed in an air strike in September 2017, along with - it's believed - his two older sons, Abdullah, 12, and Zarqawi, 11.

'I think that's my biggest fear now, is to give birth here because I've heard a lot of stories of people giving birth inside their tent and a lot of them haven't worked out, like, properly, ' Zaynab said on ABC's Four Corners. Nettleton died from health complications from appendicitis in 2015. "The profile and the publicity around this family will also make it quite problematic for them to just integrate back into normal life in Australia".

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