At least 12 Syrian refugees drowned after attempting the voyage from southwest Turkey to Greece yesterday, reports Al Jazeera. The refugees are the latest in a long list of Syrians to drown while attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
A disturbing photo of a drowned Syrian toddler lying face down at the waters edge was shared widely on social media this morning. Twitter posts including this graphic image are included at the bottom of this story. Readers who are sensitive to such images are encouraged to not scroll any further.
The flow of Syrian refugees fleeing the atrocities of ISIS in their home country has been steady since early 2014, when the terrorist organization declared caliphate — claiming territory in Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. ISIS is headed by Sunni Muslims from Iraq and Syira. The Blog of the Long War Journal reported on the Syrian terrorist group’s original declaration.
On an almost daily basis, reports that Syrian refugees drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, ranging in numbers from a few individuals to hundreds, emerge. The Guardian reported on 700 drowned refugees fleeing Libya in April, and another 200 drowned on August 27.
Today’s latest drowning victims include five children and one woman. Two boats carrying 23 Syrian refugees initially began the crossing. Reports state that seven people in the party were rescued, two wearing lifejackets made it to shore, and two are still unaccounted for, feared drowned as well.
Officials report that another 100 Syrian refugees were rescued overnight. Estimates by aid organization indicate that each day, 2,000 Syrians have been attempting to make the crossing to Kos and other Greek islands in inflatable rubber rafts. Up to 200 refugees arrive in Kos each day.
Another 1,800 refugees arrived in the Greek port Piraeus on Tuesday. The United Nations estimates that more than 2,500 refugees have drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year.
Fleeing Africa yesterday, 781 refugees were rescued and four drowned. The refugees were reported to be from Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal.
The Guardian reports that anti-refugee riots broke out in Germany on August 22, with protesters in Heidenau chanting “foreigners out” and holding banners reading “asylum flood.” The Greek economy has spiraled downward, leaving the nation no option but to turn to others for help. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that the mass arrivals of refugees is the biggest problem the European community currently faces.
A Twitter post from Abdullah Hawez reports that the drowned toddler’s name was Aylan Kurdi, and that he was a Syrian Kurd.
[Screenshot Courtesy Telegraph News/Twitter]