Last Updated on March 10, 2020
National File has previously reported on the ongoing conflict along the Greek-Turkish border between Greek citizens and Middle Eastern migrants backed by Turkey’s Erdogan regime.
A far-left German journalist was beaten for trying to take sympathetic photos of illegal migrants trying to land on the isle of Lesbos, and NGO employee have been warned away for interfering on behalf of the migrants.
Unconfirmed reports from The Daily Beast allege that Greek soldiers have fired live ammunition at the migrants from automatic and semi-automatic rifles, injuring several.
The migrants claim they have suffered two to three fatal casualties, though whether this number is accurate or the cause of death is disease rather than gunshots is unknown.
For over an hour, the sound of people trying to direct each other in multiple languages through farms, woodlands, and across riverbanks was punctuated by shots. First it sounded like single rifle blasts, then came bursts of three, and then longer, heavier automatic fire.
However, when Papastathis appeared on Wednesday afternoon to direct us to the new location, he denied absolutely that we had heard what we heard.
“Only tear gas is being fired,” he insisted to a group of a dozen journalists on the tracks.
Turkey accused Greece of killing a Syrian man and wounding five other people. The next day footage of Greek soldiers apparently firing in the direction of migrants on the border surfaced online. And more signs of the Greeks using live fire on migrants and asylum seekers could be found at a makeshift camp for people waiting to cross the Evros River near the Turkish city of Edirne.
Most outlets reporting on the incident are Turkish state media and pro-migrant western media, but what is clear is that Greece seems to be willing to take the strongest possible measures to secure its borders.
Greek farmers took to their tractors to repel migrants with water cannon this week.
Additional footage from last week shows the Greek Coast Guard pushing away a migrant boat and firing warning bursts into the water.