EU Migrant Crisis Deal Backfires As Half As Many Migrants Sent To Turkey Are Brought Back To Greece By The Coastguard.

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The first boat carrying migrants from Greece has arrived in Turkey as part of an EU deal to deport those who have failed to gain asylum.

Ships carrying around 200 migrants and refugees – more than 130 from Lesbos and over 60 from Chios –  set off across the Aegean Sea from the islands on Monday.

The first boat with several dozen passengers on board arrived at Dikili on the Turkish coast at around 9.20am (local time), accompanied by two Turkish coastguard vessels and a police helicopter.

A boat carrying migrants and refugees from Greece arrives in Dikili, Turkey

The first ferry with migrants docks in Dikili, Turkey

They were taken to a small white tent on the quayside, behind security fencing, where they were met by immigration officials as they disembarked.

“All of the migrants returned are from Pakistan except for two migrants from Syria who returned voluntarily,” Giorgos Kyritsis, a spokesman for a government refugee crisis committee, told state television.

Turkey EU Migration Deal

He said there was “no timetable” for further deportations, adding the examination of asylum applications “will take some time”.

Sky’s Michelle Clifford in Lesbos said: “The whole idea about this scheme is to deter people from making that dangerous sea crossing from Turkey here to Greece.

“But as those ferries left here we filmed 58 migrants being brought to shore by the coastguard – so half as many almost as were taken away to Turkey – arrived from Turkey. Clearly the message they will be sent back is not deterring people at the moment.”

Clifford earlier spoke to charity workers from Save The Children who have been talking to migrants, mainly Syrians, at a detention centre on the Greek island.

“They told us women and children there were sleeping in the outdoors, and some of them we were told disturbingly had said that they would commit suicide, they would jump overboard, if they were sent back to Turkey because they couldn’t bear the thought potentially of being sent back to Syria,” she said.

Migrants protest in Greece against plans to deport them back to Turkey
 Migrants Protest In Greece

As each migrant was led aboard a ship, a small group of protesters outside the port in Lesbos shouted “shame on you!”

Riot police officers also boarded the boats.

Europe’s leaders are hoping the controversial plan of collective deportations from Greece will alleviate the migrant crisis affecting the continent.

Journalist Andrew Connelly, on Lesbos, told Sky News: “We think that there should be around 250 taken to Turkey today and possibly by the end of the week another 750.

“What we hear from my contacts in the detention centres is that we didn’t see violent scenes of refugees being forced by police to get on the buses. There is no way of knowing how the situation may escalate.”

Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said they had made provision to receive 500 people on the first day, but the Greeks had only provided the names of 400.

In Dikili in Izmir Province, contractors were quickly converting the port into a makeshift readmission centre.

Although the first migrants to be sent back are expected to be from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, Syrians who have illegally crossed will also be expelled under the deal if they have arrived since 20 March.

Europe’s politicians are hoping the mass expulsions will act as a deterrent and discourage migrants from boarding the smugglers boats, but already there are signs it is not working.

The deal will of course fail if large numbers of people continue to make the crossing.

200316 Migrants arriving on the Greek Island Of Lesbos
Confusion Over EU Deal In Camp

In Dikili, migrants are still arriving hoping to connect with the smugglers and get to Europe.

Human rights groups argue the collective deportations break international law and mark a dark time in Europe’s history.

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World Powers Have Agreed A Ceasefire Plan To End The Syria Conflict

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World powers have agreed to seek a nationwide “cessation of hostilities” in Syria to begin in a week’s time, after talks in Munich, Germany.

The halt will not apply to the battle against jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Nusra Front.

The 17-member International Syria Support Group (ISSG) also agreed to accelerate and expand aid deliveries.

The announcement comes as the Syrian army, backed by Russian air strikes, advances in Aleppo province.

The move threatens to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in rebel-held parts of the major city of Aleppo.

The Syrian government has not yet responded, though a key rebel coalition welcomed the announcement.

“If we see action and implementation on the ground, we will be soon in Geneva,” Salim al-Muslat told reporters, referring to the Swiss city where the UN is trying to get peace talks between the Syrian government and rebels off the ground.

More than 250,000 people have been killed and 13.5 million displaced in almost five years of fighting in Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted the ceasefire plan was “ambitious” and said the real test would be whether the various parties honoured the commitments.

“What we have here are words on paper, what we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground,” he said.

Media captionRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about ”working together” and ”progress made”

A task force chaired by the US and Russia will work to implement the truce through consultations with Syria’s rival groups.

Aid deliveries for besieged Syrian communities are due to begin as early as Friday.

Major gaps remain: BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet

Both Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry admitted, repeatedly, this was only progress on paper. Some diplomats are already saying “it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on”.

There are still major gaps. One of the biggest is that Russia’s bombing of Aleppo and what it calls terrorist targets is not included in the possible truce even though its actions are seen by many as strengthening Syrian government forces.

On the issue of delivering desperately needed aid to besieged areas, UN officials say they are determined to seize this new opening.

The next week will confirm whether Syria’s government and opposition forces are ready to provide access denied for so long.

It will be a week which tests the commitment of all outside players, as well as Syrians on all sides.

That, in itself, is some progress. But moving towards talks to end Syria’s devastating war will still take far more than that.

Mr Kerry made the announcement alongside his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

Mr Lavrov said there were “reasons to hope we have done a great job today”. An earlier proposal from Russia envisaged a truce starting on 1 March.

At the news conference Mr Kerry again suggested that Russian strikes were targeting what the West sees as moderate opposition forces, rather than terrorists, as Moscow says.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the cessation would only work if Russia halted its raids, although Mr Lavrov said they would continue.

Map showing where civilians have fled since Syrian government forces began their offensive on Aleppo - 10 February 2016

The ISSG also agreed that peace talks involving the Syrian government and rebels should resume as soon as possible.

Initial talks were suspended just days after they began earlier this month in Geneva, in the wake of the Aleppo offensive.

Thousands of people displaced by the fighting have been stranded at the border with Turkey and aid agencies have warned of a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation.

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(EXCLUSIVE) Syria: Aerial Drone footage shows total devastation in Homs

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Published on Jan 20, 2016 [Youtube]

The RT exclusive aerial footage shows the city of Homs in Syria, once Syria’s third largest and a major industrial hub, totally devastated by the Syrian civil war.

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Syrian government ‘to let aid into besieged Madaya’

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Islamic State attacks Iraqi army base near Ramadi

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_87398481_iraqramadi4640614 has just announced that fighters from so-called Islamic State (IS) have launched an attack on an Iraqi army base near Ramadi, just days after the city was recaptured by government troops.

A military spokesman said suicide car bombers and fighters wearing explosive belts took part in the attack.

The army fought back with the help of air strikes by the US-led coalition.

Iraq said it had “liberated” Ramadi from IS on Sunday. The jihadist group had held the major city since May.

Friday’s attack is the biggest launched by IS against Iraqi forces since Ramadi’s recapture.

Sebastian Usher, the BBC World Service Middle East analyst, says the assault shows the scale of the task confronting Iraqi government forces – as troops are faced with an unknown number of IS fighters still holding out on the outskirts.


Iraqi security forces said they had retaken the city of Ramadi on Sunday


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Leytonstone terror attack: Hero victim tells of how he “went back to have another go”

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The hero victim of a knife-wielding terror suspect has told how he was slashed in the neck as he confronted the fanatic – and then “went back to have another go”.

David Pethers, 33, was cut as he tried to approach the “crazy” assailant who had just stabbed another man and left him in a pool of blood.

But the lift engineer still tried to disarm the man before police arrived and Tasered him.

Security was stepped up at Tube and train stations with extra officers on patrol following Britain’s first terror attack since the murder of Lee Rigby in 2013.

Police are examining whether the suspect, a 29-year-old man, may have a history of mental health problems.

He stormed into Leytonstone Tube Station around 7pm on Saturday and began attacking travellers as he screamed “this is for Syria”.



Dramatic footage of the attack flooded the internet after a number of people filmed it on their mobile phones.

In one video a man can be heard shouting “you ain’t no Muslim, bruv” and the phrase was trending on Twitter on Sunday as Londoners sent a defiant message to terrorists.

#YouAintNoMuslimBruv: A ‘very London’ response to Leytonstone Tube terror attack

Sources believe the man was a lone wolf who may have been inspired to act following Britain’s decision last week to bomb Isil in Syria as well as Iraq.

There was no immediate evidence to suggest he had previously been on the radar of the intelligence and security agencies.

Commuters, including young children were left terrified as the man struck in a busy early evening tube station.

Witnesses told how as he entered the ticket hall he attacked a 56-year-old man carrying a guitar and beat him unconscious.

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Do you agree with how your MP voted on the Syria airstrikes?

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Opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, stands right, as he makes a speech to lawmakers inside the House of Commons in London, during a debate on launching airstrikes against Islamic State extremists inside Syria. Photograph: AP

British MPs voted in favour of RAF bombing raids in Syria, last night. is encouraging the general public to voice their opinions on yesterdays election. Do you agree with your parliamentary representative’s stance?

After a long and heated debate, David Cameron achieved a substantial majority for his plan to extend RAF bombing to targets in Syria.

Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, saw 66 members of his own parliamentary party vote in favour of airstrikes, while 7 Conservative MPs defied the whip to vote against military action.

Did your own MP take part in Wednesday’s long debate on military action? Did he or she come to a decision that you agree with? Whether you agree with your MP’s stance or are unhappy with their vote, let us know your thoughts on the decision to take part in airstrikes. Do you feel represented?

Unsure of how your MP voted? click on the link below for a list of all the MPs that voted yesterday and share your views.

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