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Labor concerned for Aussies in Syrian camp


Opposition frontbencher Kristina Keneally (pictured) is encouraging the government to continue to work with the families and national security agencies to consider if anything can be done to extract these children to safety from a Syrian camp (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

Labor is urging the Morrison government to speed up the evacuation of more than 60 Australians detained in a Syrian camp.

There are fears the women and children will soon be exposed to much greater risk, as a US withdrawal paves the way for a Turkish invasion of northern Syria.

Opposition frontbencher Kristina Keneally has met people who have family members in the al-Hawl camp.

"Some of these people are genuine victims," Senator Keneally told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"What I would encourage is that the government continues to work with the families and with our national security agencies to consider if anything can be done to extract these children to safety."

Senator Keneally believes the looming US withdrawal makes the task far more urgent.

"The opportunity, the window if you will, to safely extract the children and indeed those people who are adults is coming to a close," she said.

"The decision by the Americans to withdraw concert could certainly be hastening that time frame."

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has expressed concern for the Australian women and children but warns the government will not rush to evacuate them.

"We will not put Australian officials, forces or our public in danger so any repatriation will occur only if safe to do so," Senator Payne said.

Senator Payne said the government was in close consultation with its allies about the development in Syria, including through its embassies and other officials.

"The Australian government urges restraint by all parties to the conflict in Syria, and calls for all to avoid escalatory actions that cause further instability and added risks of humanitarian suffering," she said.

Meanwhile, a notorious jihadi bride has been stripped of her Australian citizenship.

Zehra Duman, who fled Australia as a teenager to marry an Islamic State fighter, was notified of the government's decision in recent days.

Duman is a dual Turkish and Australian citizen.

There are concerns the decision could leave her children, aged one and three, stateless.

The government declined to comment on the case.

However, a spokeswoman said that in general terms, cancelling a parent's citizenship did not sever their child's ties to Australia.

"Nor is there any power for the minister to revoke the child's Australian citizenship in these circumstances," the spokeswoman said.

© AAP 2019