Dozens of migrants dead as boat sinks off Syrian coast

According to updated reports on Saturday (24 September), at least 77 people have lost their lives as a result of a migrant boat sinking off the coast of Tartus, Syria, earlier this week.

The boat reportedly departed from near Tripoli, Lebanon, whose economy has been struggling to such an extent recently that the World Bank has described the 2019 Lebanese financial crisis as one of the worst in modern times. As a result of an increasingly dire economic situation exacerbated by both COVID-19 and the 2020 Beirut port explosion, many people are seeking better opportunities in Europe. 

The deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon has created opportunities for illegal immigration. Migrants from Palestine and Syria are also joining Lebanese refugees boarding boats in Lebanon, resulting in the boats often becoming overcrowded. According to the UNHCR, Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees per capita in the world. 

Lebanese officials reported that more than 100 people were on board the sinking boat, while Syrian authorities claim that around 150 people were on board, meaning that several dozens of people are still unaccounted for. Of those on board, the majority were Lebanese or Syrian.

Tartus lies approximately 50km from Tripoli, where the boat is believed to have departed earlier this week. 

The incident is not the only one of its kind to have occurred this year. In April 2022, an overcrowded boat sank off the coast of Tripoli, where dozens of people died after a confrontation with the Lebanese navy. Some claimed that the navy had rammed the boat, while official reports say that the boat had performed reckless manoeuvres in an attempt to escape from authorities. 

Earlier this month, the Turkish coastguard intercepted another migrant boat off the coast of Mugla, where 73 people were rescued but six unfortunately drowned, two of which were babies.

Rescue attempts are still ongoing.

source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Reuters

Related articles

Editor's choice
News
Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell underlined that the European Union will make every effort to support the peace process and to remain a committed partner to the Afghan people. "Of course, we will have to take into account the evolving situation, but disengagement is not an option.  We are clear on that: there is no alternative to a negotiated political settlement, through inclusive peace talks.
Editor's choice
News
Problem? What problem?

Problem? What problem?

Vladimir Putin attended the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union that was held in Bishkek on Friday (9 December), and was upbeat afterwards when addressing a press conference before he departed back for Moscow. Answering questions from mainly Russian journalists Putin shrugged off all concerns, and expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Russian economy, the Russian Army and the Russian judicial system.  Perhaps the most striking comment came when Putin was asked about the war in Ukraine, which he insists on calling a "special operation". "The special operation is going on normally, everything is stable there with us - there are no questions there and there are no problems today. As you can see, the Ministry of Defense is behaving quite transparently. Everything that happens in reality, on the ground, everything is reflected in the daily reports of the Ministry of Defense. So everything is actually objective and the situation is, I have nothing to add here. As for the settlement process as a whole, yes, it will probably not be easy and will take some time. But one way or another, all participants in this process will have to agree with the realities that are taking shape on the ground." The summit brought together the leaders of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. A number of agreements were also signed by the five countries during the summit. The next formal summit will be held in Moscow in the Spring. But Mr Putin, always keen to keep his allies in his sight, will be meeting the leaders of the EEAS countries together with those of the other CIS countries in St Petersburg before New Year.

Popular

Editor's choice
News
Problem? What problem?

Problem? What problem?

Vladimir Putin attended the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union that was held in Bishkek on Friday (9 December), and was upbeat afterwards when addressing a press conference before he departed back for Moscow. Answering questions from mainly Russian journalists Putin shrugged off all concerns, and expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Russian economy, the Russian Army and the Russian judicial system.  Perhaps the most striking comment came when Putin was asked about the war in Ukraine, which he insists on calling a "special operation". "The special operation is going on normally, everything is stable there with us - there are no questions there and there are no problems today. As you can see, the Ministry of Defense is behaving quite transparently. Everything that happens in reality, on the ground, everything is reflected in the daily reports of the Ministry of Defense. So everything is actually objective and the situation is, I have nothing to add here. As for the settlement process as a whole, yes, it will probably not be easy and will take some time. But one way or another, all participants in this process will have to agree with the realities that are taking shape on the ground." The summit brought together the leaders of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. A number of agreements were also signed by the five countries during the summit. The next formal summit will be held in Moscow in the Spring. But Mr Putin, always keen to keep his allies in his sight, will be meeting the leaders of the EEAS countries together with those of the other CIS countries in St Petersburg before New Year.