Summit meets to discuss Syrian refugee routes
Leaders from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia gathered this week to discuss the refugee crisis. They are concerned with some European nations’ threats to follow in Hungary’s footsteps and completely close their borders. After Hungary’s announcement of its intentions, rumors spread that both Germany and Austria are considering their own border restrictions. This has led Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia to threaten to close their own borders. Slovenia saw a drastic increase in arrivals of displaced persons in the last week alone. This has aggravated the already present Slovenia-Croatia tensions as Slovenia accused Croatia of intentionally sending the thousands of extra migrants to its border. A draft of the summit’s goals plans for the “gradual and controlled” movement of people through a to-be-determined migration route.
Sweden receives deadliest school attack in history
On Oct. 22, 21 year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson entered the Kronan School in Trollhattan, Sweden, and attacked pupils and teachers. He was armed with a sword and wore a large black helmet and mask reminiscent of those worn by German World War Two soldiers. Pettersson attacked people as he knocked on classroom doors. Two boys who opened the classroom doors were attacked; one died of his injuries. A teacher died from stabbings and another student and teacher are in the hospital in critical condition. Anton was later gunned down by police. Pettersson’s motives are unknown; law enforcement speculates that his attack was racially motivated, announcing that they found a suicide note in which Anton meant to target “foreigners” and that he thought “Sweden should not take in so many immigrants.” Police investigator Thord Heraldsson said that “Those with dark skin were attacked. [Pettersson] met with lighter skinned people who were not attacked.”
US-Iraqi rescue mission succeeds
Early last Thursday, U.S. and Iraqi soldiers raided an IS-controlled prison near Hawija, Iraq. U.S. military involvement was invited by the Kurdish government, which learned of the “imminent execution” of the hostages there. They anticipated the execution when they learned that mass graves were being prepared for the hostages. About 70 people were rescued including Sunni Arabs, Iraqi security force members and an IS member imprisoned for spying. Five active IS members were captured; several others were killed. One U.S. soldier died; he is the first killed in action since anti-IS operations began last year. Although the mission was a success, many are concerned that it went against orders that the U.S. military would not place combatants there.