The children of Australia’s most notorious terrorist Khaled Sharrouf have been reunited with their grandmother in a refugee camp in Syria.
Karen Nettleton has made it to the al-Hawl camp in northern Syria where those fleeing Islamic State’s last enclave at Baghouz, mainly women and children, ended up.
Among them are a heavily pregnant Zaynab, 17, Hoda, 16, and Humzeh, 8, as well as Zaynab’s two toddler daughters.
Mrs Nettleton has not seen her grandchildren since 2014. She has made two previous trips to Iraq to find her grandchildren, to no avail.
Sharrouf was killed in an air strike in September 2017, along with his two older sons, Abdullah, 12, and Zarqawi, 11.
The children’s mother, Mrs Nettleton’s daughter Tara, died of medical complications in 2015.
Mrs Nettleton has been negotiating with Australian and Kurdish officials to get the youngsters home but it has been frustrating going.
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“We don’t get a yes or no answer. All they’ve said is that once we get to Turkey, they’ll give us all the help that they can, our medical, dental, physio, anything that we need,” Mrs Nettleton told ABC TV’s Four Corners program.
Children of Australian IS terrorist plead for ‘a normal life’
“We weren’t the ones that chose to come here in the first place,” Zaynab told ABC TV.
“I mean we were brought here by our parents. And now that our parents are gone, we want to live. And for me and my children I want to live a normal life just like anyone would want to live a normal life.”
Her sister Hoda, who was 11 when she was taken out of Australia, told Four Corners: “I didn’t know I was in Syria until after we crossed the borders and I heard people speaking Arabic.”
“I asked my Mum where we were. And she told me we were in Syria. I started crying.”
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