Australian Rescue Mission


Picture curtesy of NBC News

Ryan Livolsi

The Australian government is planning to begin repatriating efforts to rescue more than 60 women and children of former Australian ISIS combatants imprisoned in Syrian camps. The mission is expected to be extremely dangerous for both parties and is set to cost millions in funds.


The Australian government has begun formulating plans to rescue the Australian women and children. According to The Guardian, “These women and children are widows and children of lost or imprisoned ISIS fighters.” The citizens have been moved to various detention camps like Al Hawl and Roj. Most of the Australians are being held at Roj Camp located in northeast Syria right next to the Iraqi border. These camps are extremely dangerous and plagued with malnutrition, illness, and violence. Roj Camps are considered the slightly safer camps compared to camp Al Hawl. Al Hawl houses many more people and contains a lot of ISIS personal and radicalized people. These dangerous conditions only heighten and accelerate the need for a rescue mission.


Repatriating them will be dangerous and expensive. In fact, the mission is set to cost millions in taxpayer money. Not only that, Australian officials told Voice Of America News that, “It was unlikely all would be brought out at once and that several rescue missions could be needed.” Various missions will be expensive and may be dangerous for those living in the camps. The Australian government has also noted various security issues as well. With all this being said, the Australian government has not named a particular date or time because they want to keep an element of secrecy, however various sources have told The Guardian “that a rescue mission is impending.”


Repatriating efforts are not new here. VOA reported that, “Germany has repatriated 91 of its citizens from camps in Syria, while France has brought home 86 of its nationals and the U.S. 26.” Rising efforts of repatriating citizens are not new and it is time for the Australian government to begin rescuing their trapped civilians. The government has remained incredibly vague and are not naming a lot of reasons for the delay and lack of efforts. They have briefly mentioned that the radicalized citizens now pose a potential security risk for Australia but that’s all they have said.


A lot of other nations and people are sharing their confusion and disagreement with the Australian government’s lack of effort and urgency. Save the Children Australia chief executive Mat Tinker, has been campaigning for years for efforts to begin. He told, “For more than three years, these children have been trapped in one of the worst places in the world to be a child, and their situation has been growing increasingly desperate. I saw these conditions first-hand when I traveled to Roj camp in northeast Syria in June.” Many are continuing to voice their concern and opinions of missions. Efforts will begin soon and the Australian government hopes to bring home its trapped women and children in a safe and secure manner.