KUCUK KENDIRLI, Turkey – A Syrian man who survived a capsizing during a desperate voyage from Turkey to Greece buried his wife and two sons on Friday in their hometown of Kobani, returning them to the conflict-torn Syrian Kurdish region they had fled.
With the burial, Abdullah Kurdi abandoned any plans of leaving his homeland again.
“He only wanted to go to Europe for the sake of his children,” said Suleiman Kurdi, an uncle of the grieving father. “Now that they’re dead, he wants to stay here in Kobani next to them.”
The haunting image of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach focused the world’s attention on the wave of migration fueled by war and deprivation.
The three bodies were flown to a city near Turkey’s border with Syria, from where police-protected funeral vehicles made their way to the border town of Suruc and crossed into Kobani.
Aid groups said they noticed a substantial increase in donations since the photos emerged. Christian humanitarian organization World Vision said donations nearly tripled just one day after the photos of Aylan circulated.
Britain will take in thousands of refugees
Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday that Britain will take in thousands more Syrian refugees amid growing calls for the government to show greater moral leadership in the refugee crisis engulfing Europe.
Cameron said Britain will expand its existing resettlement scheme, which has already brought a few hundred of the region’s most vulnerable refugees to the United Kingdom.
“Given the scale of the crisis and the suffering of people, today I can announce that we will do more, providing resettlement for thousands more Syrian refugees,” Cameron said.
Migrants likely died soon after trip began
Authorities have not yet been able to identify “with 100 percent certainty” the cause of death of 71 migrants found in a truck last week on the side of an Austrian highway near the Hungarian border, but evidence indicates that they suffocated shortly after undertaking the journey, an Austrian police official told reporters Friday.
Austrian police have been unable to identify any of the 71 people, but said for the first time that travel documents found on the victims indicate the group included Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians, and at least one family whose nationality was not given.