By Sun Xiaobo
A wave of mainly Syrian refugees has overwhelmed European countries and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced on Wednesday plans to distribute about 120,000 additional asylum seekers. But meanwhile, the US, which has been shielded from the situation due to its geographic advantages, continued to wrestle with Russia over the Syrian issue.
Amid recent allegations of a Russian military buildup in Syria, the US asked Bulgaria and Greece to deny permission to Russian military transport planes bound for Syria to fly over their territories. US Secretary of State John Kerry even called his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, warning that Russian actions could "risk confrontation" with the US-led coalition.
The burgeoning refugee crisis has prompted reflection. It is rooted in the attempt by the US and its Western allies to topple the Assad regime, which has plunged the country into long-term chaos and fostered the rampant Islamic State (IS). More than four years of civil war has killed more than 300,000 Syrian people, displaced over 7.6 million and made 4 million flee the war-torn country.