The Guardian reports today that Australian mothers trapped with their young families inside one of Syria’s brutal detention camps say they are desperate to get their children out, fearful they will be taken from them, or they will die.

“The kids are shaken each time they see a soldier holding a gun,” one mother in the camp said. “And each night, when the boys hear a car, they can’t sleep, afraid they will be taken away from their mother.”

About 40 Australians – 10 women and 30 children – remain held within the Roj camp in north-east Syria, near the Iraqi border.

They are the wives, widows and children of slain or jailed Islamic State fighters.

A woman and a child in the Roj detention camp in northeast Syria

I am sympathetic to anyone in difficulty. But I do not understand how people who left Australia, repudiated their Australian citizenship to join the caliphate, and supported murderers and torturers, have any claim on the goodwill or finances of Australian tax-payers.