The father of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who died as his family tried to make it to Europe, has condemned world leaders’ failure to end the bloodshed in his home country.

On 2 September 2015, the harrowing picture of Aylan’s body washed ashore on a beach in Turkey shocked the world. The heartbreaking image of Aylan became a symbol of the migrant crisis, but his father, Abdullah Kurdi, has accused politicians of failing to act.

As well as Aylan, Mr Kurdi lost his elder son, Galip, five, and his wife, Rehab, 35, after their boat capsized.

‘The politicians said after the deaths in my family: “Never again”,’ Mr Kurdi, 41, told German newspaper Bild. ‘Everyone claimed they wanted to do something because of the photo that touched them so much. But what is happening now? People are still dying.’

Kurdi, now lives in a guarded community in Erbil, Iraq, broke down in tears as he said he saw no reason for living without his family.  ‘Now I’m probably safer than I’ve ever been in my life,’ he said. ‘But for what?’

As many as 400,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011, with thousands more dying in Iraq following the rise of ISIS.

More than four million people are estimated to have fled the violence in Syria as refugees, with many of those heading for Europe.

But thousands have died en route, with scores of boats crammed with migrants capsizing in the Mediterranean.


This article can be found in Mirror 0816.