Heartbreaking final words of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi to his father who tried so desperately to save him when their boat capsized.
The three-year-old Syrian boy drowned while trying to reach Europe. Pictures of his washed up body sent shockwaves round the world.
Aylan Kurdi’s tragic last words before drowning were ‘daddy, please don’t die’.
The three-year-old Syrian drowned while trying to reach Europe. Pictures of his body washed up on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, sent shockwaves round the world and has proved a turning point in the debate over allowing asylum seekers into Europe.
Aylan’s father Abdullah tried to save him as they struggled in the Aegean Sea. Aylan’s brother Galip, 5, and mother Rehan also died as their boat got into trouble in the water and capsized.
Mr Kurdi was the only survivor from the family of four.
Aylan’s aunt Fatima Kurdi, who lives in Canada, said: ‘When the boat flipped upside down and the waves kept pushing down, those two boys were in his arms,’ she said as she burst into tears.
‘He tried with all his power to push them up above the water to breathe and they screamed: “Daddy, please don’t die”.’
Mr Abdullah realised Galip had died, so he let him go.
Ms Kurdi said: ‘He tried to save the second one, Aylan. He looked at him and there was blood coming from his eyes.
‘So he closed his eyes and he let him go. He looked around for his wife. She was floating in the water. He said: “I tried with all my power to save them. I couldn’t.”‘
The world has reacted with a huge outpouring of sympathy toward Syrian refugees since the image of three-year-old Aylan’s body washed up on a beach circulated on Wednesday.
However, his death is the latest in a series of tragedies to have befallen his family, after fighters from ISIS launched their latest assault on the beleaguered city of Kobane in June.
Ms Kurdi, 44, said: ‘Abdullah sent me a message and pictures. He said ISIS went in the middle of the night, disguised in the uniforms of the Peshmerga (Kurdish military) and beheaded many people.
‘It happened three months ago when they made their latest assault on Kobane.
‘They attacked over 100 people and some of the victims were wider members of my family.
‘Abdullah sent us pictures – some of them were of our relatives being beheaded. They were horrific. I deleted the pictures. I didn’t want to see them.’
Among those killed in June were some of the boys’ second cousins and their partners, as well as their great-aunt. Some were shot in their homes.
Following the loss of his family, Mr Kurdi has returned to Kobane to bury his loved ones.
Ms Kurdi said she had only spoken with her brother by phone for only two minutes earlier this morning after the funeral had taken place.
Although she is in frequent contact with him, she says that he is often too distraught to speak during their calls.
She said: ‘The funeral was very hard for him, I wish I was there for him. He felt lonely not to have his sisters, brothers and dad with him. But he understands because of the war we are all in separate places.
‘But he said he has lots and lots of relatives with him – lots of Rehan’s family is there.
‘I spoke to him yesterday when he had got off the plane yesterday near the Turkish border, and he said the Turkish government have helped him a lot.
‘He really appreciates their help and I want to thank them so much too.’
Speaking further of the funeral, which saw Mr Kurdi’s family laid to rest in the city’s Martyrs’ Cemetery, she added: ‘He is so proud of his kids – that they are the wake up call to the world, he is proud of them because they will make it better for other Syrians in desperate need.’
Ms Kurdi’s five siblings – Abdullah, Mohammed, 48, Maha, 44, Shereen and Hevron, 30 – have all been displaced by the situation in Syria.
Hevron’s current whereabouts is unknown. Ms Kurdi says she has tried three or four times to cross into Europe with her family but doesn’t know if she has made it.
Although she doesn’t know where she is, she is confident she is safe.
Mohammed’s family are in Turkey, while he has gone ahead to Germany. Maha and Shereen are in Damascus, at the family’s home along with their father.
Ms Kurdi also gave thanks to the huge outpouring of support she and her family have received through social media since the news of Abdullah’s tragic loss came into the spotlight on Wednesday