Labor Want To Bring Australians Who Fled To Syria To Join ISIS Back Home
As Islamic State continues to lose its foothold in the Middle East, it's leaving many people who left their home countries to join their ranks stateless.
Some Western countries have taken a bold strategy to this issue by revoking the citizenship of foreign fighters, meaning they aren't able to return to their home country.
Australia is one of these countries, however it appears the government is going to be pressured into changing that stance.
The Opposition has raised concerns about leaving people in Syria, mainly women and children.
Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally said we should be wary of repeating the same mistakes of when foreign fighters were left in Afghanistan in the 1970s.
"Those people went on to form al-Qaeda," Senator Keneally told ABC's Insiders yesterday. "While there is a risk to bringing these people back, there is also a risk to not bringing them back.
"The government needs to consider the options in front of it."
She says the question the government needs to grapple with is whether it's now safe to bring these people back to Australia.
The government has been pretty strict with its outlook on the matter, with foreign affairs minister Marise Payne saying they won't allow anyone to come back to our shores if they have the chance to harm other Aussies.
"We will not put Australian officials, forces or our public in danger so any repatriation will occur only if safe to do so," she said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated some leniency towards the matter, however only on the topic of bringing the children of these families home.
He said in April: "Where there are children, and mainly that's where our focus is, I'd say exclusively that's where our focus is.
"Then we are working with the Red Cross so that where they're in a position for people to get to a place where they might be in a position to return to Australia then we will cooperate with that process.
"I'm not going to put any Australian life at risk to extract people from these conflict zones. There are issues relating to people's citizenship that has to be confirmed, and you'd expect that.
"But where those issues are able to be addressed, we would follow the normal processes for issuing of travel documents after all those other matters have been addressed.
"In the case of [Australian] children, who are the innocent victims of those who took them into this atrocious place...we will do what I think Australians would expect us to do on their behalf."
Politicians have returned to Canberra this morning where no doubt this issue will be front and centre.
Featured Image Credit: PA