A boat carrying refugees seeking comfort in Europe, capsized on the Aegean Sea yesterday, striking a rock soon after departure from Turkey, and killing another 37 Syrians trying to reach Greece. Just over a week ago, the Aegean claimed the lives of another 46 Syrians attempting the perilous journey to find solace away from their war-torn region.
This new year, 2016, is witnessing an increase in deaths of refugees on the Aegean Sea. Thus far in the winter month of January, some 218 desperate souls have died trying to cross into Greece from Turkey, where 2.5 million Syrian refugees are encamped. In 2015, humanitarian groups counted a total of 805 refugee deaths on the Aegean Sea.
Though fewer refugees are attempting the dangerous crossing at this time of the year because of the winter season, the number of deaths are increasing. Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, is cited by the Associated Press(AP) as confirming the death toll is "increasing at an alarming rate."
The deadly persistence by Syrian refugees to reach the peace of Europe underscores the humanitarian tragedy that is the Syrian war and it affirms the necessity for a finality to the conflict. Yet, as Syrian Opposition and regime representatives gather in Geneva, Switzerland, for peace talks, many interfering and meddling aspects remain as impediments to Syrian peace. Russia's entry into the conflict on the behalf of the despot, Bashar al Assad, has complicated any quick solutions to a fix in the Levant.
Therefore, as winter warms to spring and an eventual warmer summer, unprecedented numbers of refugees could be seeking comfort at Europe's borders.