Michele Bachmann joined “Understanding the Times With Jan Markell” over the weekend not only to push her latest End Times claims but also to discuss the refugee crisis resulting from the Syrian civil war.
The former Republican congresswoman and presidential candidate told Markell that Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washing up onto a Turkish beach was captured in a series of iconic photos, was not actually Syrian but from a Turkish family that was trying to reach Europe in order to secure dental benefits. Aylan, his four-year-old brother and his mother died after a boat headed to Greece capsized, three of over 2,600 migrants who have died traveling to Europe this year.
“That was a terrible tragedy but the fact is, that boy’s father and mother were in Turkey; they weren’t from Syria, they were from Turkey,” she said. “The father wanted European-style welfare benefits, he wanted for somebody to pay for the dental care for his kids.”
Bachmann’s assertion is false. The Kurdish boy’s family lived in Damascus before fleeing to Aleppo and then Kobani, each time leaving to avoid fighting. They left Kobani, where Aylan was born, for Turkey after the predominantly Kurdish city became the site of a brutal assault from ISIS forces. Close to two million Syrian refugees live in Turkey, which denies asylum to Syrians along with all non-Europeans, making it very difficult for Syrian refugees to legally rent a house or find a job since they don’t have legal status.
She went on to cite a claim made by Lebanon’s education minister that two of every 100 Syrian refugees are ISIS militants posing as refugees, and agreed with Markell’s claim that accepting Syrian refugees is “national suicide.”