Last week, approximately 150 bodies of migrant refugees from Palestine and Syria — many of them children — washed up on the Libyan side of the Mediterranean Sea. The refugees drowned to death after their boat capsized, likely heading to Europe to escape desperate situations in their home countries. The surfacing of these photos came on the heels of the discovery of 71 migrant refugee corpses — 59 men, 8 women, and 4 children — found in the back of a truck in Austria. Facebook user Khaled Barakeh uploaded the photos to facebook in an album. Within the first 24 hours, the album received 90,000 shares before Facebook deleted them.
Most of the migrants come from war-torn countries like Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Palestine — all of which have experienced a military campaign either led or sponsored by the US in the last three years. Since 2001, when the War on Terror was declared, the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has increased its personnel from 30,000 to 70,000 members. Sub-commands of SOCOM include the Africa-based SOCAFRICA, SOCEUR, and SOCCENT and CENTCOMM, both of which are actively waging secretive military campaigns in the Middle East.
Between 2014 and 2015, Europe saw a 40 percent jump in the number of asylum-seekers attempting to reach Europe by boat, most of whom were fleeing war-torn regions in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the United Nations, more than 300,000 people have attempted crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, and 2,500 are proclaimed dead or missing. Europe hasn’t seen a refugee crisis of this magnitude since the end of World War II, when roughly half a million displaced Jews liberated from concentration camps had no place to call home.