Orphans in Raqqa

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An Australian woman has died in Raqqa, in DAESH-held Syrian territory, after having surgery for appendicitis.  She left her five young children orphaned, the eldest being a 14-year-old girl.  Their father, Khaled Sharrouf, died earlier, but not before he was photographed making his son hold aloft the severed head of a murdered Syrian soldier.

Some people are now calling on the Australian Government to try to bring the children home. Their plight is horrible, but how could they possible be rescued?  Surely DAESH will not give them up.  They will be indoctrinated, if this has not occurred already, and used as cannon-fodder.  Sending in a special forces team to find them and bring them out would be unjustifiably risky.  Ransoming them would a) put money in the hands of the wickedest people on the planet; and b) encourage future kidnappings and efforts to entice gullible people into DAESH’s clutches, to be traded with their distraught family members or governments.

This case is a tragic one, we cannot always save children from the folly or criminality of their parents. Many thousands of children’s lives are being ruined by parents who use illicit drugs, drink to excess, fail to send their children to school, feed them junk food, and subject them to sexual abuse or violence.

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