Australian Hoda Sharrouf is the second oldest child of Tara Nettleton and Khaled Sharrouf, conservative muslims who took their family to live under authority of Daesh, also known as the "Islamic State", which for several years, occupied much of Syria and Iraq, putting the population under an extremely strict and brutal interpretation of Islamic law. Her parents took her to Daesh territory in 2013, when she was just eleven years old.
Nettleton travelled there even though she had a kidney condition, and died in 2015, of a failed appendix operation. Khaled has been reported to have been killed by a missile fired from a US unmanned aerial vehicle, but there have been rumours he survived, and went into hiding. Before the missile strikes Khaled broadcast a video of one of her younger brothers holding the decapitated head of a murdered captive. The oldest two of her younger brothers were reported to have been killed by the same missile that was reported to have killed her father.
Her parents allowed her older sister, Zaynab to marry her father best friend, when she was just 13 years old. Her husband was reported to have been killed by the same missile that killed her father.
In 2016, after the children were officially orphaned, there were all made wards of Daesh. Hoda and Hamzah lived with their older sister Zaynab and their baby neice.
In February, 2019, Zahra Duman, another Australian woman who had recently escaped the shrinking Daesh enclave, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that she was Hoda's mother's best friend, told reporters that Hoda, Zaynab, and their youngest brother Hamzah, were fine, even though they were still within the shrinking Daesh territory.
By April Zaynab, Hoda, Hamzah, and Zaynab's two daughters, had made their way to the al-Hawl refugee camp. They first contacted their grandmother, Karen Nettleton, who had made unsuccessful attempts to rescue them in the past. Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said that as soon as they Sharrouf children's identity had been verified they would be issued travel documents so they could return to Australia.
On April 4, 2019, the Sydney Morning Herald interviewed Hoda. She told reporters she forgave her parents for dragging her and her siblings to Daesh. Reporters wrote her comment was the first time any of the children had commented on their parent's decision.
Hoda told reporters that she took advantage of a ceasefire to leave the Daesh enclave. She said she needed help from other travelers as she had nerve damage to her leg, and kept falling over.
- "PM offers Sharrouf children a route back to Australia following desperate plea". SBS News. 2019-04-05. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/pm-offers-sharrouf-children-a-route-back-to-australia-following-desperate-plea. Retrieved 2019-02-22. "Hoda was just 11 when she was taken to Syria along with her siblings. Sharrouf and two of his sons were killed in a US air strike on Syria in 2017."
- Rachel Olding, David Wroe, Michael Koziol (2017-08-16). "Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf and sons believed killed in Syria". Sydney Morning Herald. https://www.smh.com.au/national/islamic-state-fighter-khaled-sharrouf-and-sons-killed-in-syria-reports-20170816-gxxe34.html. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- Anna Patty (2016-03-21). "Khaled Sharrouf's daughter, Zaynab Sharrouf, tells of 'normal' life in Syria". Sydney Morning Herald. https://www.smh.com.au/national/khaled-sharroufs-daughter-zaynab-sharrouf-tells-of-normal-life-in-syria-20160321-gnmtqk.html. Retrieved 2019-02-22. "She is living in Syria with her siblings Hoda, 13, Abdullah, 11, Zarqawi, 10, Humzeh, 5, and her three-month-old daughter, Ayesha. All the children are said to be wards of the Islamic State."
- Sally Rawthorned (2019-02-28). "'They are safe, that's the main thing': Sydney ISIS children reported alive". Sydney Morning Herald. https://www.smh.com.au/national/they-are-safe-that-s-the-main-thing-sydney-isis-children-reported-alive-20190228-p510s2.html. Retrieved 2019-02-22. "A video obtained by the ABC shows Australia's first ISIS bride Zehran Duman, who left Melbourne in 2014 to live under the Caliphate where she married Melbourne man Mahmoud Abdullatif, claiming that the three children are 'fine'."
- "Australia PM open to the return of IS fighters' orphaned children". Hill Top Monitor. 2019-04-07. http://hilltopmonitor.com/2019/04/australia-pm-open-to-the-return-of-is-fighters-orphaned/. Retrieved 2019-04-07. "Hoda Sharrouf is now 16 and living in the Kurdish-controlled Al-Hawl camp with her older pregnant sister Zaynab, 17, two nieces and brother Hamza, 8."
- David Wroe, Josh Dye, Erin Pearson (2019-04-04). "What should Australia do with the children of Islamic State?". Sydney Morning Herald (Al-Hawl refugee camp). https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/what-should-australia-do-with-the-children-of-islamic-state-20190404-p51aw8.html. Retrieved 2019-04-07. "Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age from al-Hawl camp, 16-year-old Hoda Sharrouf also says she forgives her father and mother, Tara Nettleton, for dragging her to Syria along with her four siblings when she was just 11 years old."
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