Painful Ending: Abdullah Kurdi, Father Of Drowned Boys Returns Home In Syria To Bury His Wife And Two Sons

ISIS murdered ELEVEN of their family just three months ago

Abdullah Kurdi cradles the body of one of his sons who drowned when the boat carrying them capsized
The grief-stricken father of two refugee boys who drowned alongside their mother has buried them in Kobane, as it’s revealed 11 relatives were slaughtered by Islamic State militants in the war-torn city.

Aylan, three, his brother Galip, five, and mother Rehan died when their dinghy capsized as they tried to reach the Greek island of Kos in the dead of night.

Today, as their father Abdullah Kurdi accompanied their coffins to Syria, it emerged that 11 members of their family were murdered by terrorists in June.

Crowds gathered in Kobane as the bodies of the two young refugee boys and their mother completed their final journey.

Mr Kurdi flew from the coast to Istanbul and then onto the Turkish city of Urfa.

Aylan, Galip and Rehan’s coffins lined up in front of a crowd before being buried in the war-torn town of Kobane
Speaking to the Dogan news agency at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, he still appeared to be in shock.

‘As a father who lost his children, I want nothing for myself from this world,’ he said. ‘All I want is that this tragedy in Syria immediately ends and peace again reigns.’

The family is being buried at a place known as Martyrs’ Ceremony in the city.

With the burial, Abdullah Kurdi abandoned any plans of leaving his homeland again.

‘He only wanted to go to Europe for the sake of his children,’ said Suleiman Kurdi, an uncle of the grieving father. ‘Now that they’re dead, he wants to stay here in Kobane next to them.’

Local journalist Mustefa Ebdi, who attended the funeral service, said: ‘Aylan, his brother, and his mother were buried today in Kobane in front of a large crowd. Everyone was very sad and crying.’

The journalist said Mr Kurdi ‘looked broken and numb’ as he addressed a gathering of hundreds.

‘I don’t blame anyone else for this. I just blame myself,’ Mr Kurdi told the mourners. ‘I will have to pay the price for this the rest of my life.’

He said his children were only a few of the many victims of Syria’s four-year conflict and pleaded for a ‘solution to the tragedies’ gripping his country.

Heart-breaking: Abdullah Kurdi says his final goodbyes to his two sons and his wife before they are buried
Mr Ebdi said he told the boys’ father, ‘the world is standing with you’, but the Mr Kurdi said he had nothing left in the world to live for.

Today the boy’s grandfather, Sexo Seno Kurdi told Newsweek: ‘Only a few months ago we lost 11 family members and now this. Now my daughter and grandchildren are also fallen martyrs for Kobane.’

Among those killed in June were some of the boys’ second cousins and their partners, as well as their great-aunt. Some were shot in their homes.

Islamic State fighters battled for four months to seize Kobane last year, but Kurdish fighters backed by US-led air strikes regained control in January in a symbolic defeat for the jihadists.

In June, ISIS fighters attacked their city, detonating a suicide bomb and battling Kurdish forces in the streets.

Civilians and Kurdish fighters were killed as the terror group attacked the town on three sides after reportedly coming across the border from Turkey.

This morning, a group of alleged people traffickers one weeping uncontrollably arrived at a court in Bodrum after being arrested on suspicion of organising the fateful journey.

One man wept as he was taken into the courthouse, while another, Hassan Ali Salih, clutched his mother, Zehra Salih, who came to support him.

She broke down in tears and begged for help, explaining her son was innocent. Ms Salih said her husband had been killed in the Syrian conflict and her son was just desperate to flee to safety.

Another man, Mustafa Halil, looked at the floor as he walked into the courthouse.

His mother Meliha Halil said he was not involved in the trafficking and was himself trying to get to Europe. They will face a judge at 1.30pm local time.

The four defendants sat outside the courtroom and spoke animatedly with friends and family as their mothers cried this morning.

A spokesman for the court in Bodrum said: ‘They have not been charged yet – we are taking statements from them today.

‘They will appear later but it will be a closed hearing not open to the press. This is entirely normal under Turkish law.’

A relative is inconsolable at the funeral held in Kobane – the place the family had risked their lives to leave
Yesterday, Mr Kurdi described how he had pleaded with his sons to keep breathing, telling them he did not want them to die as he clung onto the side of the overturned boat.

It was only when he looked down at their faces and saw blood in Aylan’s eyes that he realised the boys had died in his arms and he was forced to let them go.

Looking around in the water, he spotted the body of his wife Rehan ‘floating like a balloon’.

Yesterday his sister Tima revealed how Mr Kurdi had relived the final moments of his boys’ lives in a phone conversation she’d had with him.

‘When a bigger wave came and flipped the boat upside down, Abdullah right away caught both his kids and tried so hard with all the power he had to keep them up from the water, screaming, “Breathe, breathe, I don’t want you to die”,’ she said.

‘In his left arm was Galip and he saw he was dead and he told me, “I had to let him go”,’ she added.

‘Then he looked at Aylan and could see blood from his eyes, so he closed them and said, “rest in peace my son”, she went on to say.

Abdullah saw his wife’s dead body floating in the water ‘like a balloon’, and he struggled to recognise her.

‘He said the water was so calm, crystal clear and that’s how he knew it was safe to [cross], and Aylan was so happy, so excited for that trip, and he told him, “We’re going to have fun”. Aylan asked, “Where we are going?” and he told him Europe,’ she said.

‘He said 20 minutes later a big wave came in on the jet boat. He was upset with the smugglers, but they said “Don’t worry about it, we’ve done this plenty of times and its very safe”.’

He told his sister: ‘Now the whole world is going to watch my story, where was the whole world before when my kids were hungry, when I didn’t have a job?’

Sobbing uncontrollably Abdullah yesterday recalled his terror when the flimsy and overcrowded dinghy overturned, causing the night to be pierced by the screams of his fellow Syrian refugees as he clung on to his wife.

‘I was holding her, but my children slipped through my hands,’ he said.

‘We tried to cling to the boat, but it was deflating. It was dark and everyone was screaming. I could not hear the voices of my children and my wife.’

Over the following three hellish hours in the water, Mr Kurdi battled for survival.

The barber had paid people smugglers £2,900 over the course of three attempts to reach Greece from a refugee camp in Turkey.

But he has told friends he wished he had also drowned to be spared a lifetime of self-recrimination over the family’s desperate gamble for a better life.

Aid agencies have been inundated with donations and offers of help. They have even taken calls from families offering to take desperate refugees into their homes.

Mr Kurdi told the Daily Mail: ‘I wanted a better life for them, that’s why I left. I just hope that this photo of my son changes everything.

‘We want the world’s attention on us, so that they can prevent the same from happening to others.

‘Let these be the last things that happened to us here, in the country where we took refuge to escape war in our homeland. We want the whole world to see this.’

A migrant is pictured washed up on the sand at a beach in Bodrum, which is popular with tourists
At a press conference last night she revealed her sister-in-law did not want to make the crossing.

She said: ‘His wife told me on the phone a week ago “I am so scared of the water. I don’t know how to swim, if something happens I don’t want to go”. But I guess they decided they wanted to do it all together.

‘Those two kids they didn’t see a good life at all. They didn’t deserve to die.’

Canadian immigration authorities rejected the Kurdis’ application in part because of the family’s lack of exit visas to ease their passage out of Turkey.

The government also objected to their lack of internationally-recognised refugee status, the aunt told the Ottawa Citizen.

Chris Alexander, the country’s immigration minister, yesterday suspended his re-election campaign to travel to Ottawa and look into why officials rejected the request.

Later it emerged that Abdullah could face further heartbreak after Ms Kurdi revealed that one of his sisters is missing after attempting the same journey.

‘There is one sister, actually, I don’t know what has happened to her. I heard from Abdullah that one smuggler told him she was trying to do the same route as him, but we don’t know if she crossed, or if she’s back in Turkey,’ she said.

Tima and Abdullah also have a second sister, who is currently in Turkey after her house in the city of Kobane was bombed.

They have a brother, Mohammed, whose young family is in Turkey, although he has gone ahead to seek refuge in Germany.

Mr Kurdi and his late wife Rehan, 35, fled Damascus in 2012, first for Aleppo and then Kobane.

Three-year-old Aylan had spent his entire life on the move as his family fled the fighting in their homeland.

Friends said they endured shelling in Kobane before leaving last year as ISIS forces were poised to seize the town.

Mr Kurdi said he had worked as an odd-job man and sold the family’s belongings in the streets in a bid to fund their dream of a new life in either Canada or Europe.

But once in Turkey, the family hit a bureaucratic dead end because they were Kurds.

In desperation, they turned to the people smugglers. Coastguards intercepted their boat on their first attempt to reach the Greek island of Kos. The second time the traffickers failed to show up at the rendezvous point.

Mr Kurdi said a Turkish smuggler started the third voyage with him and other Syrians with whom he had obtained the boat.

They had been at sea for only four minutes when the dinghy began taking on water.

‘The captain saw that the waves were so high and as he tried to steer the boat we were hit immediately,’ said Mr Kurdi. ‘He panicked and dived into the sea and fled.

‘I took over and started steering, but the waves were so high that the boat flipped immediately.’

Mr Kurdi broke down after seeing his sons’ bodies in the morgue, running from the building and crying out ‘My God, my God’.

Residents in Bodrum said the discovery of bodies on the beach was a grim daily reality. At the city’s state hospital, director Orhan Yuce said seven children drowned on the night Aylan and Galip died.

‘We see this every day. It breaks my heart,’ he said.

Two boats capsized off the Turkish coast and the refugees’ belongings washed up on a beach in Bodrum

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Source: Dogan News Agency Turkey And Daily Mail Uk

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