Inside a Syrian refugee camp’s ‘Australia Street’ – where ISIS brides and their children from Melbourne and Sydney beg for VEGEMITE while pleading to be allowed home
- There are 20 Australian women and 46 children stranded in northern Syria
- Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has refused to help ISIS brides
- Trapped ISIS bride Zahra Ahmed said the children have suffered too much
- Ahmed said it’s ‘unfair’ that the Australian Army isn’t helping their citizens
A group of ISIS brides and their children are living in a row of tents called ‘Australia Street’ inside a Syrian camp.
The women left their homes in Sydney and Melbourne to travel to the Middle East and marry ISIS fighters – but now find themselves stranded and desperate to return.
There are 20 Australian women and 46 children stranded in northern Syria following the defeat of ISIS.
As Syria becomes a war ground once again – this time between Turkey and the Kurdish militia – the women have grown more anxious about threats to their safety and that of their children.
The women living on ‘Australia Street’ inside the Al-Hawl camp asked outsiders if they brought Vegemite with them, and have been pleading with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to come back.
The women left their homes in Sydney and Melbourne to travel to the Middle East and marry ISIS fighters – but now find themselves stranded and desperate to return (Pictured: Mother and her two children trapped in a camp)
Zahra Ahmed and several other woman and children from Melbourne and Sydney have been trapped in ‘Australia Street’ in the Al-Hawl camp (pictured)
Zahra Ahmed – one of the women living on ‘Australia Street’ – said she is afraid of losing her life in the Middle East.
She has already lost one of her children to malnutrition while living in the Al-Hawl camp.
‘The children have already experienced way too much trauma; way too many bullets. Even in the camp just the other night they had a shoot-off and the kids woke up crying. And then a few nights later it was a thunderstorm and they all thought it was shooting and they all just woke up hysterical,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘They’re starting to tell us at the shops, ”Stock up on water, stock up on flour, you don’t want to get hungry”. And just hearing that, can you imagine, it’s really scary.’
Despite her desperate pleas, Mr Dutton has refused to allow ISIS brides to re-enter Australia due to a terrorism risk.
As Syria becomes a war ground once again – this time between Turkey and the Kurdish militia – the women have grown more anxious about threats to their safety and that of their children
Along with 70,000 others, Ahmed said the children have experienced too much trauma and bullets and it’s time for them to go home (Pictured: Women at the Al Hawl camp)
Pictured: A foreign woman with a child, living in al-Hol camp which houses relatives of Islamic State
Mr Dutton told 3AW that ‘there is no question’ that if ISIS brides return they would expose Australia to terrorism
‘It is an incredibly dangerous situation and the government has been very clear that we aren’t going to put defence personnel or DFAT personnel or home affairs personnel in harm’s way to provide support to these people,’ Mr Dutton told 3AW.
‘We don’t know whether they are (Australian citizens). You would need DNA testing and you’d need other checks to be made.
‘Some people will face arrest if they do get back to Australia because we’ve been able to gather enough evidence in relation to them.’
Ahmed claimed it was ‘unfair’ that the Australia wasn’t making efforts to rescue them.
‘If the Australian army can’t come out to save its own Australian citizens, then what’s the Australian army there for?’ she said.
Ahmed claims that it’s ‘unfair’ the Australian army won’t come save their people (Pictured: Women in the Al-Hawl camp)
The government has already stripped three people dual citizens of their Australian citizenship.
Labor MP Ed Husic said the government needed to deal with each case individually if they were to allow ISIS brides return to Australia.
‘We need to be very careful how we deal with this issue and take careful steps in terms of assessing what is the best situation/relation in some of these cases,’ he told RN Drive.
‘Where there are instances that people have not gone to fight and have been caught up in this quite separately, we want to take into account their situations.’
According to The Australian, a survey found 59 per cent of 1634 voters were opposed to the return of the ISIS wives and children, while 36 per cent were in favour of their return.
Pictured: Two children in the Al-Hawl refugee camp following the war between ISIS and Syria