Australia grandmother in emotional reunion with IS fighter's orphans

Alleged ISIS members near the village of Baghouz Syria in March

Alleged ISIS members near the village of Baghouz Syria in March

Sydney Grandmother Karen Nettleton has pleaded for Sharrouf's children and her three remaining grandchildren - heavily pregnant Zaynab, 17, Hoda, 16 and Humzeh, 8, along with Zaynab's two toddlers now staying in a Syrian refugee camp - to be allowed to come home.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said hurdles remain to repatriating the orphans, adding that national security interests must come first.

The Sydney grandmother of Sharrouf's children, Karen Nettleton, has expressed frustration at the delay in returning the kids to Australia since they reached the camp in mid-March.

"They have suffered", he said. "If they can get that, that would be the best way to reabsorb them into Australian life". Are my children a risk to Australia - absolutely not, absolutely not.

"There are processes to be followed, and there's still a long way to go on these things, and we'll deal with each case - every individual child - on its merits, and follow the proper process".

She told the ABC's Four Corners program that she wanted to return to home to Australia and that she should not have to pay for the sins of her parents.

"Once they feel safe there is a greater chance that they will settle in and they will be adequately catered for", she said.

She shares her tent with her 16-year-old sister, Hoda, and 8-year-old brother, Humzeh.

Zaynab, whom her father married to his friend and fellow Australian-IS fighter Mohamed Elomar (who was killed in 2015), has since given birth to two daughters, Fatimah and Aiesha, and is seven-and-a-half months pregnant.

Zaynab said the siblings should not be blamed for their predicament.

"We know these children have witnessed violence, acts of atrocities, some young children might have been direct eye witnesses or even involved in some of these behaviours", she said.
"I started crying", Hoda said. "And now that our parents are gone, we want to. live a normal life", she said.

The pair embraced, and Nettleton told her granddaughter, "Hoda I'm here".

Hoda is the daughter of Australian Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf. He was left with Lebanese citizenship.

Khaled Sharrouf - the first Australian to have his citizenship stripped under anti-terrorism laws - made worldwide headlines in 2014 when he posted an image on Twitter of one of his sons holding a severed head.

Then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described that image as "one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed".

Karen Nettleton's five grandchildren were aged between three and 12 when they were taken to Syria from their home in Sydney by their mother, Tara Nettleton, in 2014. She died in hospital a year later of a perforated intestine.

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