Terrorists’ Aussie kids ‘on way home’
THE orphaned children of slain Australian terrorists are on their way home from a refugee camp in northern Syria.
The Australian reports a local aid agency collected eight Australian children from a refugee camp in northern Syria over the weekend and drove them to a safe zone in Iraq before they undertake a long journey through the Middle East before arriving home.
The Sharrouf children, taken to Syria to join father Khaled who shocked the world when he posted a picture of his now-dead son Abdullah holding a Syrian official's severed head, are Humzeh, 8, Hoda, 16, and Zaynab, 17, who is expected to have a baby this week.
Also rescued in the first organised return of Australians from the conflict zone were Zaynab's children, three-year-old Ayesha and two-year-old Fatima, The Australian said.
Once in Australia, the Sharroufs will live with their grandmother, Karen Nettleton, in Melbourne after she visited them at the camp in April.
Rescuers also evacuated the orphaned children - two boys and a girl aged between six and 12 - of slain Australian Islamic State fighter Yasin Rizvic and his wife, Fauzia Khamal Bacha. It is unclear where they will live.
Mr Morrison told The Australian: "The fact that parents put their children into harm's way by taking them into a war zone was a despicable act. However, children should not be punished for the crimes of their parents.
"Repatriating these children was not a decision the Australian government made lightly. "Australia's national security and the safety of our people and personnel have always been our most important considerations in this matter.''
About 70 Australians, mostly women and children, are stranded in northern Syria.
The Australian reports that the children are undergoing detailed medical and psychological reviews to assess whether they have taken on the radical views of their parents.
It is understood the group will stay in Iraq until Zaynab has her baby before they continue their journey home.
The Australian said it had agreed to withhold details of the operation until the group was safely clear of the country because of the high level of risk involved.