In a heartbreaking new development to the Syrian refugee crisis, the father of drowned infant Aylan Kurdi – whose body was recently found washed ashore on a Turkish beach – has spoken out about his families tragic ordeal.
Syrian refuge Abdullah Kurdi lost both his children Aylan (3) and Galib (5), and his wife Rehan (35) when high waves engulfed the small fishing boat he had paid to transport them from Bodrum in Turkey to Kos in Greece, hoping to eventually find safety in Canada.
Speaking outside the mortuary where his family lay after the distressing images of his son’s body emerged online, Mr Kurdi said:
All I wanted was to give us a better life, I hope this photo of my son will change everything. My first son died in the high waves. I was obliged to leave him and save the other one. People panicked when water filled the boat and it sank. We had life vests and I was holding my wife’s hand but my children slipped from my hands.
We were 12 people on a fishing boat, which was five metres long. We sailed and after a short distance the waves were very high. I saw the Turkish smuggler jump in to the sea and leave us fighting alone. I took over and started steering. The waves were so high the boat flipped.
Mr Kurdi has now expressed his wishes to return to Kobani, Syria where his wife and children will be buried, stating that, “I’m going to stay wherever my boys’ graves are.”