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Photos: Fear and frustration on the faces of Syrian refugees at the edges of Europe

As Syria endures its fourth year of turmoil, Europe is just beginning to grasp the true scale of desperation of refugees overwhelming its borders.

A record-breaking 107,500 people crossed into Europe in the month of July alone, according to EU border control agency Frontex—the most ever recorded in a single month. The flow of migrants has spawned a slew of new heartbreaking images: stricken Syrian families waiting at Greek ports, parents handing babies across Hungary’s new razor-wire fence, children bloodied in last week’s chaos at the Macedonia-Greek border.

Greece Migrants
Syrians cross the border to Macedonia from the Greek town of Idomeni, early Aug. 27, 2015. (AP/Santi Palacios)

At least 300,000 Syrians have made it into Europe alive in 2015—more than in all of 2014. And yet this is only a small fraction of the 4 million Syrian civilians who have been officially registered as refugees by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR). That’s nearly a quarter of the entire nation’s pre-war population.

Neighboring nations like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon have have shouldered the majority of Syria’s refugees, albeit with varying degrees of hospitality over time. Many more displaced civilians have yet to make it out of the country; roughly one in two Syrians have been forced to flee their homes one way or another.

Macedonia Migrants
Syrian refugees cross the border from Macedonia to Serbia next to the train station of Tavanovce, on Aug. 28. (AP/Santi Palacios)
Migrants situation on Kos island
A Syrian migrant holds a young girl in his arms upon arriving on a dinghy to the Greek island of Kos, Greece. (EPA/Yannis Kolesidis)
Migrants breaking through the cordon of Macedonian special police forces to cross in Macedonia
A migrant girl reacts after she was injured while breaking through the cordon of Macedonian special police forces. (EPA/Georgi Licovski)
Macedonian police clash with refugees at blocked border
On Aug. 21, Macedonian police clashed with thousands of migrants attempting to break into the country after being stranded in no-man’s land overnight. (EPA/Georgi Licovski)
Migrants crossing Macedonia on their way for the western Europe countries
An exhausted and frustated migrant holds his head after he missed his place on a train heading to the Serbian border from Macedonia. (EPA/Georgi Licovski)
Macedonian police clash with refugees at blocked border
Chaos at the Macedonian border earlier this month. (EPA/Georgi Licovski)
Hungarian policemen detain a Syrian migrant family after they entered Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke
Hungarian policemen detain a Syrian migrant family after they entered Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke, Aug. 28. (Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)
A Syrian migrant carries a child as she walks along a railway track after crossing into Hungary from the border with Serbia, at early morning near Roszke
A Syrian migrant carries a child as she walks along a railway track after crossing into Hungary from the border with Serbia, Aug. 29. (Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)
A Syrian refugee boy cries as he sits on his luggage following his arrival onboard the Eleftherios Venizelos passenger ship at the port of Piraeus near Athens
A Syrian refugee boy cries as he sits on his luggage following his arrival onboard the Eleftherios Venizelos passenger ship at the port of Piraeus near Athens, Greece, Aug. 23. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)
Hungarian police positioned nearby watch as Syrian migrants climb under a fence to enter Hungary at the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke
Hungary’s government has started to construct a 175-km-long (110-mile-long) fence on its border with Serbia in order to halt a massive flow of migrants who enter the EU via Hungary. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)
A Syrian migrant lifts a child over a fence on the Hungarian-Serbian border near Asotthalom
A Syrian migrant lifts a child over a fence on the Hungarian-Serbian border on Aug. 25. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)
Syrian migrants react as they are arrested by Hungarian policemen after they entered Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke
Syrian migrants react as they are arrested by Hungarian policemen. (Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)
APTOPIX Mideast Libya Migrants
In this photo taken on Aug. 27, a sunken boat carrying migrants is pulled into the port Zuwara, Libya. (AP/Mohamed Ben Khalifa)
Hungary builds border fence amid migrant crisis
Hungarian soldiers install a wire fence at the border between Hungary and Serbia. (EPA/Tamas Soki)

 

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