Father and child are among 16 migrants ‘shot dead in the past four months’
Source / The Dawn News / March, 31, 2016.
Refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war are being shot dead by Turkish border forces, it was reported last night.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 16 migrants, including three children, had been killed in the past four months as they tried to cross into Turkey.
The true number is believed to be higher, according to a Syrian police officer and a Syrian smuggler who lives in Turkey, but it is impossible to say exactly how many because the bodies of those who fell on the Syrian side of the border were dragged back to be buried in the war zone.
Shoot to kill: Refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war are being shot dead by Turkish border forces, it was reported last night. This picture shows Turkish troops who stood guard as Syrians crossed into Turkey last summer
The observatory details how a man and his child were killed in Ras al-Ain – on the eastern stretch of the Syria-Turkey border – on February 6. And two refugees were then shot dead at Guvveci on the western stretch of the border on March 5, The Times reported.
According to the smuggler, refugees who cross the border will now ‘either be killed or captured’.
He added: ‘Turkish soldiers used to help the refugees across, carry their bags for them. Now they shoot at them.’
The luckiest ones, the smuggler said, are those who fall on the Turkish side of the border after being shot. They are taken to a Turkish hospital for treatment and allowed to stay in the country.
The crackdown by Turkey is said to have started in December, following pressure from the West to crack down on the movement of migrants towards the EU.
Sixteen migrants, including three children, are said to have been killed in the past four months as they tried to cross into Turkey. There were shootings in Azaz, Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain, the latter of a man and his son
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 16 migrants, including three children, had been killed in the past four months as they tried to cross into Turkey. Turkish soldiers are pictured with refugees last June
It followed four years of Syrians being able to cross the border, dubbed ‘the jihadist highway’, without a passport.
Doubt has now been cast on the landmark EU migrant deal that was agreed 11 days ago, under which Turkey has said it will take back all those who illegally reach Greece by sea.
In return, EU countries will take Syrian refugees from Turkey. From June, Turkish citizens will also get visa-free travel in the Schengen travel zone.
The Turkish government has said that it upholds an open-door policy for Syrians whose lives are under threat.