The Latest: Poland minister says Syrian refugees in Europe 'can form army' for Syrian freedom

The latest news as hundreds of thousands make their way across Europe in search of safety and a better life. All times local.

12:01 p.m.

Poland's new foreign minister says that young Syrian refugees in Europe could be formed into an army that could fight for Syria's freedom.

Witold Waszczykowski made the statements late Sunday on state TV. He is to be the foreign minister in the new conservative government of the Law and Justice party that is to be sworn in on Monday.

"If hundreds of thousands of young Syrians have entered Europe, they could be formed into an army," Waszczykowski said. "With our help they could fight their country back."


9:40 a.m.

Greek authorities say 1,244 refugees and economic migrants have been rescued from frail craft in danger over the past three days in the Aegean Sea, as thousands continue to arrive on the Greek islands.

A coast guard statement Monday said rescuers responded to a total 34 incidents since Friday morning, near the islands of Lesbos — where most migrants head — Chios, Samos, Kos, Kalolimnos and Megisti.

The count does not include thousands more people who safely made the short but often deadly crossing from nearby Turkey's western coast.

Greece is the main point of entry for hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa seeking a better life in Europe. Several hundreds have drowned making the crossing, which is arranged by smuggling gangs in Turkey.