Escaping From War-Torn Syria to Western Europe

The number of migrants fleeing into Europe this year has already reached 235,000, topping the total number of migrants for all of last year, 219,000. The International Organization for Migration estimated that number will grow to at least a quarter of a million by the end of August. Nearly half of these refugees are Syrians fleeing war at home, escaping into Turkey, and paying smugglers to help them make a dangerous crossing to the Greek island of Kos in tiny inflatable rafts. Once on European soil, they make their way north any way they can, on foot or by rail, with help or on their own, passing through Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary bound for Austria, Germany, France, England, and other Western European countries. The influx of migrants is placing huge burdens on all nations along the route, especially Greece, which has seen a 750-percent increase in arrivals over the same period as last year. See also: “‘I Am Strange Here’: Conversations With the Syrians in Calais,” by Simon Cottee.

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