A dingy filled will 54 Afghan refugees heading to the Greek Island of Lesbos earlier today (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

LARGE NUMBERS OF REFUGEES FROM SYRIA, AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, AND MOROCCO embarked on the perilous journey across the Mediterranean towards Europe today, after Turkey decided to open its borders to crossings, prompting fresh fears of a humanitarian crisis on par with that seen in 2015.

It is believed that Turkey decided to open its borders, in violation of a 2016 agreement reached with the EU in which Turkey agreed to prevent asylum seekers from entering the EU in exchange for funding and accelerated accession talks, in order to put pressure on the EU to support Turkey's ongoing offensive in the Syrian province of Idlib. 

Since opening its borders this morning, hundreds of refugees began boarding dingies and attempting to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, where overcrowding and appalling conditions have already created an "unprecedented" humanitarian catastrophe. 

The EU is yet to issue a formal reaction or response to Turkey's actions today. 


Image Credit: Lehtikuva