1. Of the estimated 2.5 million refugees that have fled Syria, most have fled first to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt, according to UNHCR.
2. As conditions in these countries becomes increasingly difficult, Syrian refugees are making the treacherous journey, both legally and illegally, across the Mediterranean to Europe.
3. Desperate for help and often without proper documentation, many pay thousands of dollars for rides in cramped and unsafe vessels.
4. UNHCR reported in September that 47,000 Syrians had sought asylum in the European Union since the start of the conflict.
5. Some travel by land, making their way to Turkey and on into countries like Serbia and Greece to reach Sweden, Germany, and beyond.
6. Last year, 350 fleeing Syrians came by boat to Italy, according to UNHCR.
7. By contrast, 6,233 Syrians, traveling in 63 boats, have landed in Italy since August, according to UNHCR.
8. On October 11, a boat carrying as many as 500 people, many from Syria, sank off the coast of Malta after departing from Libya. This woman and her son were among the luckier ones: up to 300 people are still missing.
Survivors claimed that Libyan officials fired on the boat two hours after departing. Libyan authorities denied involvement.