AIR STRIKE HITS SYRIAN REFUGEE CAMP
At least 30 people have been killed in an airstrike on a refugee camp in rebel-held northern Syria. Images on social media showed tents destroyed at the Kamouna camp near Sarmada in Idlib province, about 4 kilometers from the Turkish border. Some reports say the attack was by Syrian or Russian warplanes but that has not been confirmed. The strike comes a day after the extension of a truce. The Syrian military and non-jihadist rebel forces had agreed to a temporary truce around the city of Aleppo, following pressure from the US and Russia.
400,000 SYRIAN REFUGEES COULD HEAD FOR TURKEY
The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has made a plea to halt fighting in Aleppo. He warned that failure to do so could lead to a “catastrophic” outcome that could send 400,000 people rushing to the border with Turkey. De Mistura stressed that a return to peace talks hinged on a cease-fire. The Berlin talks, which also included Syria’s main opposition leader, Riad Hijab, is part of a week of whirlwind diplomacy as negotiators battle to salvage a collapsing truce.
GREEK POLICE REVEAL APRIL DEPORTATION FIGURES
New figures from the Greek police show a total of 1,694 third-country nationals were deported or returned to their native country from all areas of Greece in April. Data is based either on return and deportation orders for illegal entry into Greece, the voluntary repatriation programs operated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) or the forced returns and voluntary departures overseen by police. The returns included people from Albania (852), Pakistan (157), Morocco (107) and Iran (61). A total of 6,427 third-country nationals have been returned to their country of origin since the year began.
CLIMATE CHANGE TO BRING MORE REFUGEES
Europe’s current refugee influx may only be the beginning, new studies say. Climate change is affecting millions of people in Africa who will likely seek sanctuary further north. A new NASA report finds that the recent drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant region, which comprises Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey, is likely the worst drought in almost a thousand years. Scientists reconstructed the Mediterranean’s drought history by studying tree rings as part of an effort to understand the region’s climate.