Syria: a new force takes the place of ISIS

10.11.2019 – 23:52

Two weeks ago Turkish media showed a story prepared by «Haleb Today», film crew of the Syrian opposition (Arabic version of «Haleb Al-Yaum») news agency.

The reporters of this Internet-broadcasting TV channel who had been repeatedly accused of having links with «Jabhat al-Nusra»* terrorists and other radical groups, became suddenly concerned with the state of the Armenian Church in Syrian city of Tell-Abayd.

The Church of the Holy Cross (in Armenian «Sourb Khach») was looted in 2013 by Islamist militants from the so-called «Free Syrian Army» and their «Jabhat al-Nusra» allies. 

Some of them then joined ISIS*, while others (or the same) were part of «Ahrar Sharqiya» group and other forces of «Syrian National Army» (SNA), which reports directly to Turkish General Staff. It was the SNA, together with the Turkish Armed Forces, that took over the city of Tell Abyad during «Peace spring» operation in the beginning of October this year.

The city suffered severe damage. The Armenian Apostolic Church was damaged by artillery fire. At that time it was working again, with the return of the Armenian population to Tall Abyad after the Kurdish self-defence detachments had taken control of it, and the church was restored and services were resumed in 2017. Funds for the repair works were allocated by the Armenian communities of Aleppo and Al Qamishli, where priests also came from to perform rituals.

A total of 20 Armenian families lived in Tell-Abyad before the Turkish aggression, fleeing the city to escape from SNA and Turkish special forces. Although «Haleb Today» news report spread by the Turkish mass media, there were words about Turkish command’s readiness to carry out another repair of the Armenian church at its own expense there was still no one to go to the temple. Armenians, fearing for their lives, do not want to return to Tell-Abyad captured by the Turks and the militants.

Nor do they believe pseudo-artists from «Haleb Today». These jihadi allies said nothing about the ancient Armenian church of the Forty Martyrs which was blown up by militants in Aleppo in 2014. Then there was a staged story about Kurdish militia’s headquarters, which was allegedly in the Holy Cross Temple in Tell Abyad. The whole story was created by Turkish order. 

In fact, the same thing is happening in Turkish occupation zone as in the territories occupied by «Nusra» or ISIS*. In the language of the United Nations documents this is called «forcible change of ethnodemographic composition of the population». All ethnic and religious minorities, as well as opponents of Arab jihadists, leave the occupied areas simply to save their lives.

By Vasily Korolenkov

* A terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation.

Tags: AleppoISISJabhat an-Nusra / Jabhat al-NusraKurdsSyriaTurkeywar crimesWar In Syria

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