A Facebook picture of Khaled Sharrouf.
A Facebook picture of Khaled Sharrouf.

Islamic State terrorist’s kids could return to Australia within weeks

EXCLUSIVE: The Australian government is considering granting travel documents within a month to the orphaned children of Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf because his eldest daughter is in danger of dying in a Syrian refugee camp.

Sharrouf's 17-year-old daughter Zaynab is 33 weeks pregnant with her third child, has severe malnutrition and dehydration, and shrapnel wounds that are not healing, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

 

The Sharrouf children in 2014 (clockwise from top left) Zaynab, Hoda, Abdullah, Humzeh and Zarqawi. Abudullah and Zarqawi died in Syria.
The Sharrouf children in 2014 (clockwise from top left) Zaynab, Hoda, Abdullah, Humzeh and Zarqawi. Abudullah and Zarqawi died in Syria.

 

The widowed IS bride, forced at the age of just 13 to marry her father's friend and fellow Australian jihadi Mohamed Elomar, is at risk of complications and premature labour at the Al-Hawl camp.

She fled there with sister Hoda, 16, and their only surviving brother, Humzeh, 8, from the bloody battle for the militants' last stronghold in Baghouz.

Zaynab - who is with her two children Ayesha, 3, and Fatima, 2, - is preparing to give birth in the children's tent at the Syrian Democratic Forces- controlled camp.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been adamant he will not "put one Australian life at risk" to extract the children of IS fighters, but it is understood if Sharrouf's family can get out of Syria and to an Australian embassy, they will likely be given passports to get them home provided they pass all the usual security checks.

All five of the children and grandchildren are Australian citizens but it is not known if the oldest still have passports.

"The government has said they are fine if they get out of Syria," a source said last night.

Sharrouf's wife Tara Nettleton died of a medical condition in 2015 after following him to Syria with their five children.

Khaled and his two eldest sons, Abdullah, 12, and Zarqawi, 11, were killed in September 2017 in a US air strike.

Zaynab's former husband Elomar is also dead.

The orphaned children and grandchildren are said to be under the legal guardianship of their grandmother, Karen Nettleton, who is living in a private residence in Qamishli, Syria.

She has requested clearances to move the children from the camp to ensure they have adequate medical treatment and care.

 

Grandmother Karen Nettleton with the children’s Tara Nettleton, who died in 2015. Picture: ABC 7.30
Grandmother Karen Nettleton with the children’s Tara Nettleton, who died in 2015. Picture: ABC 7.30

 

The responsibility for evacuating the youngsters will fall on the family, but if clearances are not blocked by Australian officials, there are plans to move them to somewhere that can provide proper medical treatment immediately.

Australian officials are already in the region but they are not required to enter Syria. The plan allows them to deal with officials in Iraq or in Turkey to help the family get into Ankara.

All five children are currently held in the "foreigner section" of the Al Hawl camp. With many IS widows there, there have been numerous examples of infant mortality after childbirth.



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