Australian ISIS Fighters to 'Perish on the Battlefield,' Defense Minister

Published October 24th, 2017 - 11:26 GMT
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne (AFP/File)
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne (AFP/File)

 

  • Australians fighting with ISIS in the Middle East have been issued a warning
  • Defense Minister Marise Payne said fighters will 'perish on the battlefield'
  • More than 100 Australian jihadis are in Syria and Iraq, with another 80 killed
  • ISIS' 'capital' Raqqa was reclaimed by coalition forces last week

 

Australians fighting with ISIS in the Middle East have been issued a stern warning that they will 'perish on the battlefield' if they make a final stand.

Defense Minister Marise Payne said the coalition was seeking a 'complete defeat' of ISIS and that Australian jihadis in Syria and Iraq would be subject to the same fate, The Australian reports.

It comes as ISIS' 'capital' of Raqqa was reclaimed by U.S.-backed forces last week after being seized by the terror group in 2014.

Payne said the government had updated their rules of engagement to take on more aggressive approach to targeting ISIS fighters.

"The government has ensured the ADF is able to target all members of [ISIS], whether they are fighting on the front line or working in a support role in a back office," she said.

"Australians who have joined [ISIS] are subjected to the same risks as any other member of the criminal organization and should expect to perish on the battlefield."

 

 

More than 100 Australian jihadis are believed to still be in Syria and Iraq, with the government tracking foreign fighters since Raqqa's fall.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed that about 80 other Australians who had joined terror groups in the region had been killed.

"We understand that some of the terrorist fighters fled south. We are certainly tracking those whom we believe to be Australian," she told The Advertiser.

Intelligence agencies have been monitoring the fighters amid fears they may flee, with Payne saying they could expect prosecution if they returned home.

Among those that may be dead following the capture of Raqqa is an Australian pediatrician who fled to Syria to recruit terrorists for ISIS.

Adelaide-trained doctor Tareq Kamleh, dubbed 'Dr. Jihad', left Australia in 2015 to pursue life as a terrorist recruiter. He appeared in several propaganda videos encouraging Muslims to perform terrorist attacks in Australia.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.




© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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