A new video online claims to show Syrian refugees swimming ashore in Greece — as the dead bodies of their countrymen float a few feet away.
The video appeared at a time when many thousands are trying to reach Europe from Syria and other nearby war zones. Greece is a common entry point, especially the island of Kos, which is two miles from the Turkish coast. (RELATED: Syrian Regime Bombing Kills 100 Civilians In Suburban Market)
In the 30-second video, one man addresses the camera in Arabic while another helps a pair of children out of the water. Several corpses, fleeing Syrians who didn’t make it, float beside him.
— Sakir Khader (@sakirkhader) August 16, 2015
The man tells the camera: “One day, we will tell our children how we fled to Europe as Syrians burned, and thousands of martyrs died. One day, we will tell them how Arab and Islamic countries were closer to us, but they shut their doors.”
“Our children will grow up and say, ‘Down with the Arab leaders.’”
According to The New York Times, 7,000 refugees came to Greece from Turkey in July alone. Another Mediterranean asylum route, which goes from North Africa to the Italian island of Lampedusa, has killed 2,000 would-be immigrants so far this year.
The four-year civil war in Syria has forced nearly 10 million civilians from their homes. President Bashar Assad’s regime and rebel groups including Islamic State have both disproportionately targeted innocent civilians, attempting brutally to claim territory rather than win public support.
For refugees, a guaranteed crossing from Turkey to Greece is costly. Syrians pay about $1,500 for smugglers to carry them across by boat. Once on Kos, Greeks charge the refugees even to use the bathroom. And the Greek government, which is facing troubles of its own, is hesitant to let them stay for good.
The people in this video were less lucky. Swimming two miles on their own power, not all of them survived the journey to safety.
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