World

Drowned Syrian boys, mother buried in Kobani

Two Syrian toddlers who drowned with their mother as they were trying to reach Greece were laid to rest in the Syrian town of Kobani on Friday, a Reuters witness.

Alan, 3, brother Galib, 5, and their mother, Reham, drowned trying to reach Greek island of Kos

Abdullah Kurdi, centre, the Syrian man who survived a capsizing during a desperate voyage from Turkey to Greece, holds his three-year-old-son Alan's body. Alan, his brother Galib, 5, and their mother Reham were buried Friday in Kobani, the Syrian Kurdish region they fled. (EPA/Dicle News Agency )

Two young Syrian brothers and their mother who drowned while trying to reach Greece were buried today in their home town of Kobani and their distraught father begged Arab countries to do more to help Syria's refugees.

Images of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, washed up dead on a Turkish beach, shocked the world this week, giving a human face to the large-scale refugee disaster unfolding across Europe and prompting both empathy and outrage over the perceived failure of rich, developed nations to protect such vulnerable people.

Abdullah Kurdi, the boys' father, wept as he watched Alan's tiny body being placed into a coffin. It was afterwards lowered into the ground, along with those of his brother Galib, 5, and their mother Reham, 35, in the Martyrs' Cemetery in Kobani, a mainly Kurdish town in northern Syria near the Turkish border.

"I want Arab governments — not European countries — to see [what happened to] my children, and because of them to help people," he told reporters earlier at the border crossing as ambulances ferried the three bodies from Turkey into Syria.

RAW: Funeral for drowned family in Syria

6 years ago
1:31
Mother, children laid to rest; father appeals for end to war 1:31

The ambulances drove past sobbing mourners, Kurdish flags, and Kobani's shelled-out buildings towards the cemetery.

The United Nations refugee agency estimates more than 300,000 people have used dangerous sea-routes so far this year to reach Europe, with around 2,500 losing their lives.

Many of those refugees have fled Syria's four-year civil war, in which more than 250,000 people have been killed and some 11 million — half of the country's population — driven from their homes.

Of those displaced, some four million have fled abroad, mostly to neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

 His wife and sons were among 12 people to die after two boats capsized while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos from Turkey.

Abdullah said on Thursday he wanted the world to take action to ensure that his children were the last to die in such a way.

The Kurdi family and several other Syrian refugees were attempting to cross from the resort town of Bodrum to the Greek Island of Kos when their boat capsized in the Aegean Sea. (EPA/Dicle News Agency )

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now