- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Asbarez Staff
Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 at 6:56 PM
Two thousand Syrian Armenians find safety in Latakia; International and Local organizations providing support
kessab-smoke.jpg, image/jpeg, 550x383
LATAKIA, Syria—A delegation of priests from the Catholicosate of Cilicia who had visited Latakia to assess the needs of Kessab Armenians and express solidarity returned to the Armenian Apostolic Headquarters in Antelias after the Sunday Divine Liturgy, the Armenian Weekly reports.
According to the delegation, the local Armenian community, the International Red Cross, and the Red Crescent are providing assistance to those who have sought refuge in the city. An estimated 2,000 Kessab Armenians are currently in Latakia.
“Many Armenian families are staying with relatives and friends, while others have sought refuge in the Armenian Church and the church’s hall,” said Syrian Armenian community activist Nerses Sarkissian during a phone interview with Weekly editor Khatchig Mouradian.
“The Aleppo Armenian Prelacy as well as the Red Crescent are providing relief and assistance to these families in Latakia,” Sarkissian added.
Armenian Residences Occupied, Looted
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) reported on a number of eye-witness accounts of looting and occupation of Armenian homes, stores, and churches left behind in Kessab.
Kessab Armenians who phoned their neighbors’ and relatives’ homes from Latakia discovered that their houses are already occupied by new residents, namely rebel fighters.
Two men, Minas Soghomonian and Joseph Kilaghbian, who called their own homes were greeted by militants who said, “We are enjoying your food.”
Ani Boymushakian called the Armenian Evangelical Church office. Intruders told her, “Now we are in control of this place, we just got here and we will do with it as we please.” She hung up as the fighters continued making threats.
Another displaced Kessab resident, Paren Hovsepian, called and was told by the intruders, in Turkish, that he had nice furniture.
Other witnesses have reported abductions and looting.
Dikranoohi Manjikian, an elderly, ill woman, who due to her medical conditions and inability to move was one of the very few not evacuated, said gunmen forcefully entered her apartment and harassed her verbally and physically, demanding gold and other valuables. After pleading with them that she had no such valuables, the gunmen searched the apartment and took whatever they were able to and left. She gave her account through a phone call.
Steve Shekhookian was on his motorcycle fleeing the area of fighting near Duzaghaj (Al-Shajara) in Kessab when he was stopped by gunmen and forced off of his motorcycle. He said the gunman who stopped him was bearded and didn’t speak Arabic. When he asked to be let free and told them that he is Armenian, the gunman brandished a large knife and threatened to slit his throat. Shekhookian was then handcuffed to a metal frame on the window of a nearby building. Meanwhile as the fighting intensified, the gunmen fled or hid and left him behind. He was able to break his handcuffs and fled the area into nearby bushes and made his way back off-road to safer areas where others were being evacuated.
Militants Entered From Turkey
The armed incursion began on Friday, March 21, with rebels associated with Al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front, Sham al-Islam and Ansar al-Sham crossing the Turkish border and attacking the Armenian civilian population of Kessab. The attackers immediately seized two guard posts overlooking Kessab, including a strategic hill known as Observatory 45 and later took over the border crossing point with Turkey. Snipers targeted the civilian population and launched mortar attacks on the town and the surrounding villages.
According to eyewitness accounts, the attackers crossed the Turkish border with 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.
Some 670 Armenian families, the majority of the population of Kessab, were evacuated by the local Armenian community leadership to safer areas in neighboring Basit and Latakia. Ten to fifteen families with relations too elderly to move were either unable to leave or chose to stay in their homes.
On Saturday, March 22, Syrian troops launched a counteroffensive in an attempt to regain the border crossing point, eye-witnesses and state media reported. However, on Sunday, March 23, the extremist groups 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.
Located in the northwestern corner of Syria, near the border with Turkey, Kessab had, until very recently, evaded major battles in the Syrian conflict. The local Armenian population had increased in recent years with the city serving as safe-haven for those fleeing from the war-torn cities of Yacubiye, Rakka and Aleppo.
caption: Smoke rises from the town center in Kessab after days of attacks by extremist militants crossing over from Turkey
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
More Breaking News...