Female ISIS fighters are attacking the children of Khaled Sharrouf and other Australians
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: australia;
Women and children, including those of dead Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, who say they regret joining ISIS in Syria are being attacked by female extremists while living in overcrowded camps.
Sharrouf’s 17-year-old pregnant daughter Zaynab Sharrouf, her siblings Hoda, 16, and Humzeh, eight, and Zaynab’s two children are living in a camp at al-Hawl near the Iraq border, having moved there when ISIS lost control of the Syrian village Baghouz in March.
Five Australians among 73,000 people living at the camp have said they regret travelling to the Middle East to support ISIS.
They have been targeted by female extremists within the camp and have had their tents slashed for speaking out, the Washington Post reported.
Director of terrorism at Charles Sturt University, Levi West, said the camp worked in a similar way to prison, saying there was an ‘established gang’ in control.
‘If they happen to be the toughest and meanest gang on that cell block, then there’s probably some utility in either joining that gang or tolerating what it goes on about, so you can survive,’ Mr West told The Australian.
‘So I think there’s a similar dynamic as that where people might find it necessary to affiliate with or go along with elements in the refugee camp.’
Robert Van Aalst, a lawyer for the Sharrouf children’s grandmother Karen Nettleton, said the family are desperate to return to Australia.
Mystery benefactors have offered the children of terrorist Khaled Sharrouf free accommodation and money for healthcare and education once they escape their Syrian hellhole.
‘Wealthy people’, who won’t be publicly named, have stunned the orphans with generous offers of help, family lawyer Robert Van Aalst said.
‘I can’t believe people who don’t even know us want to help us,’ one of the children wrote to their grandmother Karen Nettleton and supporter Mr Van Aalst.
Orphans Zaynab, 17, Hoda, 16, and Humzeh Sharrouf, eight, have spent almost five years under the thumb of the Islamic State in Syria.
Convicted criminal Khaled brought the family over to the Middle East in December 2013 after fleeing Australia on his brother’s passport.
He and his two eldest boys, Abdullah, 12, and Zarqawi, 11, died in a Coalition airstrike. The children’s mother Tara Nettleton died following complications from appendicitis in 2015.
The orphans were last month reunited with their determined grandmother Karen Nettleton, who found them at the Al Hawl refugee camp.
But their planned return home has been slow-walked by the Australian government, which has not signed off on a plan to get them out of the disease-riddled camp.
Their desperation to escape Syria has only deepened with mother-of-two Zaynab seven months pregnant and surrounded by squalour.
When and if the children return home, Mr Van Aalst said they would live with Ms Nettleton – who had been given an incredible level of support.
‘We’ve been very lucky,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There are people, who I can’t name, wealthy people, who have said to us, they’ll provide funding for education and funding for medical help.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out sending Australians to Syria to bring people back, saying it was a ‘very dangerous part of the world’.
‘Once we have them out and back home, they’ve said … we want to fund their progress from having been in a war zone for five years to getting back into a normal society.’
Mr Van Aalst said none of the children have ‘any affiliation’ with the ideals of their father or ISIS.
‘The kids have always steadfastly wanted to come home, the conversations between the kids and Karen have always been of love. I have never heard one word of resentment, they miss Australia,’ he told Nine News.
Zaynab Sharrouf described her desperation to escape the camp’s harrowing conditions when she and her siblings were reunited with their Australian grandmother Karen Nettleton.
‘I think that’s my biggest fear, 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 properly,’ Zaynab told Four Corners.
‘It’s a big fear for me because I’m scared for that. Some children have made it, some children have died. It’s not a big chance that they’ll live, not a big chance.’
Even inside their tent, Zaynab and her sister Hoda wouldn’t remove their veils because wearing the niqab is strictly enforced at the camp.
Source: Daily Mail