10/23/2013 02:03 pm ET Updated Oct 23, 2013

Dramatic Video Of Syrian Refugee Rescue By Maltese Navy After Traffickers Capsized Their Boat

Newly released footage shows the rescue of a group of Syrian refugees after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

The dramatic video was released on Wednesday by the Armed Forces of Malta and captures Maltese and Italian forces rescuing the stranded survivors. According to the AMF, the operation took place on October 11 about 60 nautical miles from Lampedusa, where hundreds of migrants drowned in a shipwreck mere weeks before.

Sky News reports that the Oct. 11 tragedy occurred when the Libyan traffickers involved opened fire at the boat when the migrants failed to fully pay the smuggling fee. According to the Associated Press, 221 refugees survived the shipwreck, while 27 died at sea.

European leaders are meeting this week to discuss the issue of illegal immigration to the continent. The head of the Council of Europe acknowledged on Tuesday that southern European nations are currently disproportionally burdened by the refugee stream. AP notes that smuggling ships containing African migrants tend to travel through Libya to Spain, Italy, and Greece.

Despite the incredible perils of unsafe boats and violent traffickers, refugees continue to make these journeys, fleeing their countries to attempt to enter Europe. As one Syrian refugee told Sky News in the video above, "It is very dangerous, but there is no choice."



Migrant Ship Capsizes Off Sicily