Union of Armenians of Russia pays tribute to memory of innocent
victims who died in Syria
17:33, 5 April, 2014
YEREVAN, APRIL 5, ARMENPRESS. Upon the initiative of the Union of
Armenians of Russia, a ceremony of placing wreaths was held on April 5
in front of the Syrian Embassy to the Russian Federation.
The ceremony was dedicated to the memory of innocent victims, who died in Syria.
As reports “Armenpress”, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Ambassador of Syria to the Russian Federation Riad Haddad stated that
they want to protect their people from various terrorist groups.
Among other things, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador
of Syria to the Russian Federation Riad Haddad
underscored: “It’s not strange that Turkey supports the terrorists.
Turkish aircrafts helped the terrorists to intrude Kessab.”
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
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.