Beirut (Web Desk): Syrian authorities have found 34 bodies and rescued more than a dozen migrants off the coast of the northern port city of Tartus on Thursday.
According to the Syrian director-general of ports, authorities found at least 34 bodies and rescued 14 people in Syrian waters by Thursday evening suspected of having left north Lebanon bound towards Europe earlier this week.
The Syrian transport ministry cited survivors as saying the boat left from Lebanon’s northern Minyeh region on Tuesday with between 120 and 150 people onboard.
Lebanese transport minister Ali Hamiye said he had been informed by Syrian Transport Minister Zuhair Khuzaim that 33 bodies had been recovered and 16 people rescued.
Lebanon has seen a spike in migration driven by one of the world's deepest economic crises since the 1850s.
In addition to Lebanese, many of those leaving aboard migrant boats are themselves already refugees from Syria and Palestine.
Dozens of people in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli held a protest earlier on Thursday to alert authorities that they had lost contact with a migrant boat with dozens on board that was headed towards Italy.
The majority of victims and survivors were found near Arwad, the ministry said.
Rescue operations had stopped overnight due to weather conditions, including high waves.