ISIS back­ers in Al Hol camp beg Aus­tralia for pro­tec­tion

The National - News - - NEWS - GIO­VANNI TORRE Perth

Two for­mer part­ners of ISIS fight­ers sent au­dio mes­sages to the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment ask­ing for help as the Syr­ian army ad­vances on Al Hol camp in north­ern Syria.

In one mes­sage, a mother of two young chil­dren says: “Un­til now Aus­tralia hasn’t done any­thing for us.

“We un­der­stand the world has hate, but we’re ask­ing just as re­gret­ful hu­mans: don’t let us fall into the hands of the regime, please.”

The woman is among 66 Aus­tralians, in­clud­ing 46 chil­dren, liv­ing in the camp for the chil­dren and for­mer part­ners of ISIS fight­ers.

Syr­ian gov­ern­ment sol­diers and a pro-Da­m­as­cus mili­tia ar­rived in the re­gion yes­ter­day as part of a deal with Kur­dish lead­ers to de­ter the Turk­ish in­va­sion.

For the oc­cu­pants of Al Hol camp it is a fright­en­ing devel­op­ment, be­cause the Syr­ian regime forces are known to ex­e­cute ISIS pris­on­ers.

Aus­tralia’s gov­ern­ment in­di­cated that it will not re­lo­cate the women and chil­dren.

Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton said that some of the women in the camp are as hard­core as their male coun­ter­parts.

Mr Dut­ton’s com­ments came shortly af­ter De­fence Min­is­ter Linda Reynolds said the gov­ern­ment would not risk the lives of Aus­tralian per­son­nel in a res­cue mis­sion.

In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions ex­pert Mark Bee­son from the Univer­sity of Western Aus­tralia told The Na­tional that the au­thor­i­ties should do “what they can” to get Aus­tralian civil­ians out of the area.

Prof Bee­son said that “the kids aren’t to blame for hav­ing dopey par­ents”.

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