(JNS.org) Armenian leaders have accused Turkey of aiding al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups during their attack on a largely Armenian Christian village in northern Syria.
“Turkey’s facilitation of al-Qaeda affiliated foreign fighters and their attacks on innocent civilians in Syria undermines ongoing U.S. and international efforts to bring peace to a country ravaged by violence for far too long,” Ken Hachikian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America, wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama.
Last weekend, rebel forces from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took control of the small Armenian Christian village in northern Syria during fighting with the Syrian army, forcing most of the residents to flee.
According to the Armenian daily newspaper Panorama, Armenian President Sezh Sargsyan drew parallels between the current situation for Kessab’s Armenian Christians and the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century under the Ottoman Turks.
“The third deportation of Kessab Armenians today is a serious challenge to ethnic minority rights protection mechanisms of the 21st century,” Sargsyan said at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague. “I think everyone should realize that these parallels should sober all the sides.”