Turkey’s latest jihad on Armenian Christians in Syria

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Far from being repentant for the 1915 Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million were slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks, Turkey, under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, is again targeting Armenians and causing their deaths and dislocation today.

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Raymond Ibrahim  In the early morning hours of March 21, Al Qaeda linked Islamic jihadis crossed into Syrian territory from the Turkish border and launched a jihad on the Christian/Armenian town of Kessab. Among other things, “Snipers targeted the civilian population and launched mortar attacks on the town and the surrounding villages.” Reportedly eighty people were killed.

The jihadis later made a video touring the devastated town. No translation is needed, as the main phrase shouted throughout is Islam’s triumphant war cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or, according to Sen. John McCain’s translation, “thank God”).

Turkey-sponsored jihadis pose with Islamic flag in conquered Christian Armenian town of Kessab.
Turkey-sponsored jihadis pose with Islamic flag in conquered Christian Armenian town of Kessab.

Eyewitnesses say the jihadis crossed the Turkish border into Syria, “openly passing through Turkish military barracks. According to Turkish media reports, the attackers carried their injured back to Turkey for treatment in the town of Yayladagi.”

About 2,000 Armenians were evacuated to safer areas in neighboring Basit and Latakia. Several of these families are currently living inside the churches of these towns. Ten to 15 families with members too elderly to flee remained in Kessab, their fate currently unknown.

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Syrian troops launched a counteroffensive, but Al Qaeda linked jihadis “once again entered the town of Kessab, took the remaining Armenian families hostage, desecrated the town’s three Armenian churches, pillaging local residences and occupying the town and surrounding villages.”

Reports further indicate that “the attacks of the Al Qaeda linked al-Nusra organization and the Islamic Front was supported with artillery fire from Turkish artillery units. A Syrian MIG-23 war plane which attended to the operation towards the terror groups was shot down by Turkish Air Forces on 23 March.”

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Bashar al-Assad naturally denounced before the United Nations Turkey’s support for terrorists—even as some European leaders, such as Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, were praising Turkey for its supposedly increased democracy and human rights, and supporting the Islamic nation’s inclusion into the European Union, indifferent to the fact that Erdogan banned Twitter in Turkey after tweets exposed his government’s corruptions.

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Nor are Armenians and others missing the significance of Turkey’s role. In a written statement, the Armenian National Committee-International condemned Turkey’s active role in aiding and abetting Christian persecuting jihadi groups [emphasis added]:

“For months, we have warned the international community of the imminent threat posed by extremist foreign fighters against the Christian minority population in Syria. These vicious and unprompted attacks against the Armenian-populated town and villages of Kessab are the latest examples of this violence, actively encouraged by neighboring Turkey. We call upon all states with any influence in the Syrian conflict to use all available means to stop these attacks against the peaceful civilian population of Kessab, to allow them to return to their homes in safety and security. In the last one hundred years, this is the third time that the Armenians are being forced to leave Kessab and in all three cases, Turkey is the aggressor or on the side of the aggressors.”

Video interviews with the recently dislocated Armenians of Syria further document this sentiment. One elderly man says “We’ve been here 97 years since they slaughtered us in Turkey. These al-Qaeda ‘rebel’ groups are the grandsons of Abdul Hamid” (the Ottoman sultan who committed the first systematic genocide of Armenians).

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