The first winter weather to push its away across Europe has caused temperatures to plummet. Highs in Paris and London, which had been near 15 degrees Celsius, fell to near five degrees on Saturday, reports Al Jazeera. Northern and western European mountains are expected to receive large amounts of snowfall, the first snow of the year in many locations. The southern Alps are expected to miss the brunt of the storm.
The closing of borders through the Balkan Peninsula, together with the cold weather and snow making its way across Europe, is creating a sense of urgency among refugees and those charged with caring for them. "Hundreds of thousands" of refugees from Syria and other countries are currently making their way through the Balkan Peninsula, making their way to Europe, according to WBOC.
Part of the reason Balkan countries are clamping down on refugees is because of a Syrian passport in the name of Ahmad al-Mohammad being found near the body of a suicide bomber at the Stated de France on the night of the attacks. Authorities have been able to confirm that al-Mohammad, if that is his real name, traveled through the Balkan peninsula when making his way to Europe. The Syrian national has suddenly made the journey from the Middle East to Europe much more complicated, and dangerous, for every other refugee on the road.
"We're trapped," Mohammed Mirzam, a refugee from Afghanistan, was quoted by News Europe at the border between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. "They won't let my family across. We have no money, and we're waiting without any idea of what is to happen." Mirzam's wife and children are Iranian nationals, so they were reported to have been turned away at the Macedonian border. As many as 3,000 others are said to be finding themselves in a similar situation in the Greek border town of Idomeni.
Officials at the Serbian border are said to be allowing only Syrian, Afghani, and Iraqi refugees to cross, while Croatia is allowing refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as Palestine, passage. Borders are described as closing to "economic migrants," those who countries deem are only traveling to better themselves economically, rather than fleeing true danger.
"We are afraid that they will close the border now. But we don't fear terror much anymore. Every village in Syria is worse than Paris… we don't have much to lose," a teen-aged Syrian named Mossa was quoted. Mossa described he and his friends' plan to cross into Serbia and hopefully make their way to Europe from there.