Over 70 Migrants Die Off Syrian Coast

Photo: Jove [via Wikimedia Commons]

The Facts

  • The Lebanese government said on Friday that at least 73 people drowned, and dozens are still missing, after a boat carrying migrants and refugees capsized off the coast of Tartus, Syria. The tragedy is likely to be the highest-ever death toll for a migrant crossing from Lebanon.

  • Officials said Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian nationals, including women and children, were believed to be among the 120-150 people who were on board when the boat sank.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

There's a spike in the number of people attempting to cross the world's deadliest migration route. The Mediterranean is in a deep humanitarian crisis and the global community must support migrants to find relief, safety, and dignity. It's vital to build on the work of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which has saved more than 586K lives since 2015, to expand safe pathways for those seeking a better life.

Establishment-critical narrative

These endless tragedies in the Mediterranean are due to a failure of the international community, especially the EU. The European bloc has abdicated its responsibility to conduct search and rescue. No EU ships actively patrol anywhere near where most boats enter into distress. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency conducts aerial surveillance for interceptions and returns, but maritime search and rescue remains a glaring gap.

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