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Australia accuses Islamic State of using Westerners as ‘cannon fodder’

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Australia’s government accused the Islamic State group of using foreign fighters as “cannon fodder,” as the number of Australians killed while fighting alongside militants in Syria and Iraq rose to 20.

Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said in a report published on Tuesday that members of the Islamic State movement are tricking Westerners into believing they are playing a key part of a religious crusade.

“They are simply using them as frontline cannon fodder, suicide bombers and propaganda tools,” Mr. Brandis told The Australian newspaper.

Twenty Australians have died in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, Mr. Brandis said, with several dying in recent weeks while fighting against government forces in the Syrian border town Kobani. Australia had previously put the death toll at 15.

“Australian youths, and many young men and women from Western countries, are being lured by the falsehood of a noble battle against an oppressive enemy,” Mr. Brandis said. “In reality, they are merely taking part in acts of thoughtless violence in many cases against innocent civilians on behalf of ISIL, which is intent on recklessly enslaving, raping and murdering those with a contrary view to their own.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 1:29:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/australia-accuses-islamic-state-of-using-westerners-as-cannon-fodder/article6675561.ece

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