Family caught unaware as Sydney-based woman dies in Syria

Amira Karroum left her Sydney home in December, telling her family she was headed to Denmark to holiday with friends

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A memorial service was held in a Sydney mosque on Monday for Muslim woman Amira Karroum, and her husband Yusuf Ali who were killed in Syria last week.

Amira Karroum, 22, had left her Sydney home in December, telling her family she was headed to Denmark to holiday with friends, reported news.com.au.

However, on Saturday, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs told her mother and father, Mohammad Karroum and Honor Deane, that their daughter and her husband had died in the Syrian conflict that has been raging since 2011.

According to the news website, Mohammad Karroum collapsed with a heart attack after hearing the news.

The young couple was killed near the city of Aleppo on Thursday.

Her half-brother Karl Karroum said the family was not aware that Amira would be traveling to Syria.

“We had no idea she was going to Syria. She left Sydney about Dec. 20, I think, and said she was going to Copenhagen for a holiday with friends and to do some humanitarian work,” he said.

“How or why she ended up in Syria, we just don’t know.

“I mean, her husband lives in Syria, so that’s obviously why she went there, but we thought he was going to meet up with her in Copenhagen.”

Responding to claims that Yusuf Ali, Amira’s young husband, had gone to Syria to fight for a jihadist faction after telling the family he was headed there to do humanitarian work, Karroum said: “they are peaceful people.”

On Facebook, Amira Karroum’s sister Rose asked for prayers for the dead couple, saying they had been “martyred.”

“Please everyone make dua for my sister Amira Ali and [brother-in-law] Yusuf. They have been martyred,” she wrote.

“I miss u already. May Allah grant u and Yusuf the highest of heavens and be together always. Love u my beautiful sister Amira Ali.”

Australians have been “strongly advised” not to travel to Syria because of the “extremely serious security situation” in that country, said the government in a released statement this week.

“Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Syria,’’ the statement said.

“The Australian government’s capacity to deliver consular assistance in Syria is extremely limited.’’