The Syrian example shows that migration flux does not only depends on the situation of the departure country. In Syria, like in Tunisia, major protests began in 2011 against the government but - unlike in Tunisia - the revolution did not stop after two months and is still ongoing. Since then, a constant flux of migrants is fleeing the war. The Syrian civil war has been particularly deadly for civilians, with around 100 000 casualties from the beginning of the war in 2011 to november 2017. This also caused the almost complete destruction of cities like Aleppo making millions of people lose their homes and forcing them to leave the country.
The conflict started in 2011 but we can see that the number of border crossings exploded in 2015, four years after the beginning of the revolution. This shows that when a migration flux is spreaded on several years, the variation at the borders depends less on the situation inside the country of departure and more on the evolving policies of the receiving countries. In 2015, the crossings of the Eastern Mediterranean border by Syrian refugees started to increase rapidly, from less than a thousand in January to more than 100 000 in October.
First of all, Syrian refugees didn’t go straight to Europe, the first people fleeing the country were going in priority to countries closer to Syria (Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan). According to Amnesty International, these five countries had already welcomed around 3,2 million Syrian refugees in July 2015. After receiving so many people the standards of living were degraded and migrants were forced to go elsewhere.
Moreover, in September of 2015, Angela Merkel announced that Germany was going to open its borders to refugees, reducing their chances to be sent back to Syria if they tried to go to Europe. After the peak of October, the flux passing through the Eastern Mediterranean road then quickly decreased and stabilized between 1000 and 2000. In March 2016, the EU signed a deal with Turkey so that, in exchange to three billions euros, every migrant arriving in Greece by the Mediterranean can be sent back to Turkey, where he is taken care of.