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06 October, 2022 | 02:41 AM

Peter Dutton says women who went to Syria need to ‘live with’ their decision

Peter Dutton says women who went to Syria need to ‘live with’ their decision
Peter Dutton says the wives of ISIS fighters who travelled to Syria need to “live with their decision” and that they and their children should not be allowed to return to Australia. Senior Coalition figures have opposed the Albanese government’s imminent mission to repatriate some 20 Australian women and more than 40 of their children trapped in detention camps in Syria’s northeast. The Opposition Leader said he had serious concerns about the families being brought back to Australia after being briefed on the government’s plans by ASIO director-general Mike Burgess. “I’m not going to go into the discussion I had with (Mr Burgess), but all I can say is that I don’t believe that these people should come to our country,” Mr Dutton told 2GB Radio on Thursday. “We want to do the right thing by Australian citizens and understand that responsibility that we have, but these men and these women decided to go into the theatre of war.” The women and children have been living in squalid conditions at the al-Hawl and al-Roj campssince the fall of the ISIS “caliphate” in early 2019 resulted in the deaths or imprisonment of their husbands. Most of the children are believed to be aged under six. Some of them were born in the camps and have never known life outside them. Mr Dutton suggested the children could have been radicalised by spending their “formative years” in camps “mixing with terrorists”. “And that is a terrible situation that their parents have put them into,” he said. “The decision that they made to leave here and fight is a decision that they need to live with unfortunately. “You need to make tough calls, but this is the reality as I see it.” Opposition Home Affairs spokeswoman Karen Andrews has also resolutely opposed the repatriation mission. She claimed there was “significant evidence” many, if not all, of the women knew they were supporting the ISIS terror group when they travelled there. “Their role as a bride of an ISIS fighter is to support and make sure there were future generations of individuals who were going to be clearly part of the ISIS regime or a terrorist regime,” she told Sky News. “So I don’t think that you can absolve the women who are over there and say that they are entirely innocent parties because they knew what they were doing.” Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley called on the government to provide more information to the public. “What will be the effect on the sensitive Assyrian community who we have given refuge to who would be alarmed by the tormentors who will make their way to this country?” she said. Originally published as Peter Dutton says women who went to Syria need to ‘live with’ their decision Sign up for our emails