Australia PM open to the return of IS fighters' orphaned children

Karen Nettleton is trying t o bring the children of her late daughter Tara home

Karen Nettleton is trying t o bring the children of her late daughter Tara home

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would only help the children of extremists - not adults - return from the war zones of Syria and Iraq.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported the three survivors of former Islamic State group fighter Khaled Sharrouf's five children contacted their Sydney grandmother Karen Nettleton last month.

Hoda Sharrouf is now 16 and living in the Kurdish-controlled Al-Hawl camp with her older pregnant sister Zaynab, 17, two nieces and brother Hamza, 8.

Once the children have been identified and their citizenships confirmed, they would be issued with travel documents to Australia, Morrison said.

"Where were these young people demanding to come back to Australia when their father was alive and Islamic State was in charge?"

However, if Sharrouf's family can get out of Syria and to an Australian embassy they will likely be given passports to return.

"We're Australians too. Australia needs to do something about it. They're not going to be a risk to anyone", Nettleton told ABC.

She is also said to be severely dehydrated and malnourished in the camp, where they are among other foreign born fighting families who escaped Baghouz - ISIS last stronghold. "But where there are Australians who are caught up in this situation particularly as innocent children, we will do what I think Australians would expect us to do on their behalf".

Three of Khaled Sharrouf's children Hoda Hamzeh and Zaynab, are stranded in Syria. Zaynab now 17 is pregnant with her third child

The orphaned children of notorious terrorist Khaled Sharrouf could be back on Australian soil in a matter of weeks.

Nettleton has told the ABC that there are serious concerns for Zaynab's health and that both she and her 16-year-old sister Hoda have sustained injuries.

"Today we read reports of the dire circumstances in which many Australian children find themselves in in North East Syria, including the heavily pregnant daughter of Khaled Sharrouf reported to be suffering malnutrition, dehydration and shrapnel wounds that are not healing", Mr Ronalds said. These children should not be punished for the actions of their parents. "What about the people that are stuck here and never wanted to be here in the first place?" she said.

"Why we would want them back in this country beggars belief".

Hoda has told the Sydney Morning Herald of her desire to be back on Australian shores: "I want to see my brother grow up as a normal kid".

About 10,000 foreign women and children with ties to IS foreign fighters are held in a separate area of the camp, with children under 12 accounting for two-thirds of this group.

"We provide bipartisan support to the government".

He did not have a specific figure for the number of children without their parents at Al-Hol camp, but estimated that there were "certainly hundreds, maybe more".

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