Bishop: we should not feel sorry for killed IS soldiers

A seven-year-old, believed to be the son of Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf, holds the severed head of a Syrian soldier beside the caption, 'That's my boy!'
A seven-year-old, believed to be the son of Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf, holds the severed head of a Syrian soldier beside the caption, 'That's my boy!'

 

AUSTRALIA'S two most wanted terrorists may have been killed fighting alongside Islamic State following drone strikes near Mosul in northern Iraq.

Sources close to Khaled Sharrouf and Mohammed Elomar told the ABC that the two were killed on Thursday evening.

The government has not yet been able to confirm their deaths.

The Pentagon confirmed to Fairfax Media they conducted seven air strikes in Syria and 22 in Iraq between 8am and 8pm last Thursday near where the men were believed to be.

Sharrouf made headlines around the world last year when he posted photos online of him with his young son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Tuesday security agencies were working to confirm whether the men had been killed but said no Australians should feel sorry for them if they had.

But she would not confirm whether the two were specifically targeted in the drone strikes.

"Given the security situation in Iraq it is difficult for our authorities to gain the kind of information that would be required to verify these reports that these men have been killed," she said.

"But these men were carrying out activities with a terrorist organisation that has essentially declared war on Australia.

"They are criminal thugs, they are terrorists and they should be utterly and absolutely condemned."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he would not shed any tears over the men's death and reaffirmed his commitment to work with the government over national security interests.

Sharrouf and Elomar travelled to Syria and then Iraq in December 2013, to fight alongside Islamic State with Sharrouf using his brother's passport to leave Australia after he was placed on a no-fly list.

Australian police issued warrants for both men last year but they both professed a desire to their social media followers to die on the battlefields of the Middle East.

Sharrouf's family hit the headlines again this year when it was revealed his wife and five children wanted to return to Australia but Ms Bishop poured cold water on that idea.

The government said they would address that issue once the death of both men had been confirmed.

- APN NEWSDESK.



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