Nearly 1,000 migrants, many of them fleeing Syria, were saved when the Italian coastguard stopped a vessel, sailing without a crew, from crashing into the coast of Italy.
On Jan. 2, EU’s border agency, Frontex, reported that it brought in another cargo vessel with 360 migrants on board to the southern Italian port of Corigliano Calabro.
''Given what has happened in recent days with the two ships, we wanted to clarify things with the Turkish authorities,'' Natasha Bertaud, spokeswoman for the European Commission, told reporters in Brussels Tuesday. “It is always the same area the cargo ships are leaving from, so there is a problem that has to be resolved there.”
''The Syrian migrants on board Ezadeen, a 73-metre freighter, apparently departed from Turkey several days ago,'' Frontex said in a statement on Saturday. ''There were over 40 women and some 70 children on board.''
Using cargo vessels has become a new method of bringing migrants to Europe and some 15 similar incidents have taken place since August 2014, according to Frontex.