JEREMY HUNT has said it would have been too risky for UK officials to rescue jihadi bride Shamima Begum’s baby son, who has died in war-torn Syria.
But the foreign secretary (pictured) said he was working to ‘find ways’ to bring other British children home. The death of three-week-old Jarrah in a Kurdish-controlled refugee camp from pneumonia has prompted widespread dismay.
But Mr Hunt said Ms Begum, 19, knew the risks when she ran away from home in east London aged 15 to marry a Daesh militant. ‘Shamima knew she was going to a country where there’s no embassy, where there’s no consular assistance,’ Mr Hunt told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.
‘And I’m afraid those decisions, awful though it is, they do have consequences. This is a warzone.
‘The mother chose to join a terrorist organisation and we have to think about the safety of the officials that I would send into that warzone.’
Mr Hunt said journalists were less likely to be targeted than British officials. He added: ‘We have been looking at how we can get in touch with these children, how we can find a way to get them out. Sadly in this case, it wasn’t possible.’
Jarrah was born days before Ms Begum, now 19, had her citizenship revoked by the home secretary Sajid Javid. And it emerged yesterday the same action had been taken against east Londoners Reema Iqbal, 30, and her sister Zara, 28, after they were detained in a Syrian camp.
The pair, who have five sons between them, went to live in the Daesh ‘caliphate’ five years ago.
Both are believed to have married militants later killed in combat.
Charity Save the Children said Britain could discuss repatriating youngsters with ‘relevant authorities’, adding: ‘What is clear is that governments who wish to repatriate their citizens have been able to do so.’