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Australia Morrison rebuffs US on Syrian extractions

03:41  18 november  2019
03:41  18 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out accepting America's help to extract Australian women and children from Syria.© AAP Images Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out accepting America's help to extract Australian women and children from Syria.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rebuffed a United States offer to rescue Australian families of Islamic State fighters from Syria.

The US has offered to help its coalition partners by facilitating the return of foreign fighters and their families to their countries of origin.

But the prime minister is unmoved.

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Foreign involvement in the Syrian Civil War refers to political, military and operational support to parties involved in the ongoing conflict in Syria that began in March 2011

"Our assessment is done on a case-by-case basis and our assessments at this point have not changed," he told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.

Mr Morrison has consistently argued Australian officials should not be placed in danger in order to remove those in the conflict zone.

Asked what other reason there could be to reject the offer, given it would guarantee Australian officials would not be placed at risk, Mr Morrison said: "I don't engage in hypotheticals on national security issues."

"National security issues are very serious and you have to deal with the cases as they present - not hypotheticals - but as they present in reality and that's how we'll deal with each and every one of them."

Mat Tinkler from charity group Save the Children said the Australian government had run out of excuses and should immediately accept the US offer.

"This is a welcome but time-limited offer from the United States to the Australian government," he said.

"The Australian government should take responsibility, immediately accept this offer and bring the Australian women and children home."

More than 60 Australians are in the al-Hawl camp, including 44 children, most of whom are aged under five.

"The offer from the US comes as winter threatens the camp and in particular the many malnourished and sick children it shelters," Mr Tinkler said.

"We know how desperate the situation is in this camp. Children's lives are at stake. The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated."

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