ISTANBUL — Just off the Turkish coast Tuesday morning, 40 Syrians were crammed on a rubber dinghy, desperate to reach Europe.
On board was Tanya Ibrahim, a high school art teacher from Aleppo, her 3-year-old son, Mohammed Jan, and her husband Abdeqaden, who filmed their dangerous journey. CBS News correspondent Holly Williams and her team first met them in Turkey before they set out.
They fled Syria two years ago, after their home was bombed, but they told Williams there was no regular work for Syrians in Turkey, so they borrowed $2,000 to pay a smuggler.
“We can’t live in Syria, and we can’t live here,” Tanya told CBS News. “For the sake of our son we need to leave.”
The family gave Williams and her team permission to follow them as they tried to reach Greece. They had good luck to start, with fairly calm waters, though their boat was overcrowded.
About five miles from the Greek coastline, however, an unmarked speedboat arrived from Greek waters. Abdeqaden said five men dressed in black pointed guns at them. He quickly hid his camera.
Then the men disabled the motor — cutting the fuel …read more