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Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

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  • Haykakan
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Independent Catholic News
    July 31 2014

    Syria: Three killed as missile hits Armenian Catholic Church

    Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 1:46 pm

    Yesterday afternoon a missile launched from areas of Aleppo controlled
    by the rebels, fell into the grounds of the Armenian Catholic parish
    of the Holy Trinity, in the district of al-Meydan, causing the death
    of three Armenian adults, two sisters and a man.

    The missile damaged a wall, a terrace of the rectory and broke the
    windows of the church also causing damage to an altar where there is a
    statue of the Virgin Mary from Marash, symbol city of the Armenian

    "It was around 6.15pm and in that moment" said parish priest Fr
    Joseph Bezouzou. "We were in church to celebrate daily Mass. If the
    missile had fallen at the exit of the Mass, it would have been a
    massacre. We thank the Lord".

    The parish had organized a gathering of young people next weekend, to
    give the young people a break from the terrible tension they are
    living under, but Fr Joseph said: "We have decided to postpone
    everything because after what happened you cannot expose young people
    to new risks.

    "On Sunday, after Mass, we will plant an olive tree in the place where
    the missile fell. This is our only response to the bombs and violence
    that for years have tried to devastate our lives".

    Source: Fides

    Yesterday afternoon a missile launched from areas of Aleppo controlled by the rebels, fell into the grounds of the Armenian Catholic parish of the Holy Trinity, in the district of al-Meydan, causing the death of three Armenian adults, two sisters and a man. The missile damaged a...

    Leave a comment:

  • Haykakan
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    «Just months before he died, he said `I can't leave my people, I can't
    leave my church, I am director of this church, how can I leave them?'»
    Salibi told CNA on April 11.

    Salibi, who hails from the now-ravished city of Homs, grew up as a
    close friend and pupil of Fr. Frans, who was brutally killed on April
    7. Days before his 76th birthday, an unknown gunman entered his
    church, beat him and shot him in the head. [19]

    In Hasakah (Hasce) many of the Christian Syrians fled, but almost
    30,000 stayed as internal refugees. The Syrian Christians who belonged
    to the Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac
    Catholic Church, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, and the Armenian
    Catholic Church collectively asked the world for help and to put an
    end to the fighting, in an appeal that went unheard, in late-2012;
    they have suffered from persecution, lawlessness, kidnappings,
    ransoms, and murder. One Christian from the area told Fides News
    Agency that Al-Nusra was targeting «all young people who were born
    between 1990 and 1992. They look for them, accuse them of being
    soldiers for the national service and kill them cold-bloodedly. They
    want to terrorize young people to prevent them from enlisting.» [20]

    Another example of the assault on the Christian community is
    Al-Nusra's assault on the town of Maaloula. Maaloula is one of a few
    villages maintaining an old dialect of Aramaic, known as the language
    of Jesus of Nazareth. Many Christian structures and historic sites
    fill the Syrian town, but the Melkite Greek Catholic Saint Sergius
    (Mar Sarkis) Monastery and Antiochian Greek Orthodox Saint Thecla (Mar
    Taqla) Monastery standout. The town became the scene of fighting
    between Al-Nusra and the Syrian Arab Army and switched hands between
    the insurgents and Syrian government four times between late-2013 and

    Many of Maaloula's residents, both Christian and Muslim alike, became
    trapped in their homes and local buildings, including forty Greek
    Orthodox Christian nuns and the orphans they were looking after, which
    sparked panic in the Christian populations of Syria and Lebanon. Hence
    the strong backing of Bashar Al-Assad's government by all of Syria's
    minorities and the expression of these type of sentiments were nearly
    universal among Christian Syrians: «`They're coming after us,' [said]
    Odette Abu Zakham, a 65-year-old woman in the congregation who lives
    in the nearby historic Christian district of Bab Touma. `All they do
    is massacre people, all they know is killing.'» [21] Not only were the
    nuns held hostage by Al-Nusra, but the anti-government fighters
    desecrated absolutely all of Maaloula's shrines and Christian
    buildings, stole its historic artifacts to sell in the black market,
    and scattered the partially Aramaic-speaking population of the town.
    Eyewitnesses who escaped Maaloula give this account below:

    [The insurgents] tried to change the religious and
    architectural-historical look of the ancient Christian town entirely:
    completely destroying some churches, the militants brought down all
    bells from other ones. The fate of two other world-famous monuments of
    Ma'loula was no less tragic: extremists blew up the statue of Christ
    the Savior, which had stood at the entrance of St. Thecla Convent, as
    well as the statue of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, which had stood close
    to the Safir hotel, the latter of which served as the main shelter for
    Takfirists for many months. [22]

    Easter, in 2014 was a special time for Maaloula. Around Easter, the
    Syrian government regained the town. Maaloula was finally secured and
    residents were returning. «The display of hatred was clear ' the
    houses are totally destroyed, the whole village was destroyed. I can't
    describe the amount of damage to the village», a returning resident by
    the name of Lorain told the press about what the insurgents did. [23]
    President Al-Assad visited too. Al-Assad himself came to visit it as a
    sign of the Syrian government's commitment to its entire population
    regardless of their faith or ethnicity. Both the Western rite and
    Eastern rite Christian celebrations of Easter, respectively using the
    Gregorian and Julian calendars, fell on the same date too: April 20,

    Leave a comment:

  • Haykakan
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Center for Research on Globalization, Canada
    July 30 2014

    Wiping Out the Christians of Syria and Iraq to Remap the Middle East:
    Prerequisite to a Clash of Civilizations?

    PART I

    By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

    Historically, the Levant is the birthplace of Christianity and the
    oldest Christian communities have lived in it and the entire Fertile
    Crescent since the start of Christian history. Early Christian called
    themselves followers or people of «the Way» before they adopted the
    term Christian; in Arabic their antiquated name would be «Ahl
    Al-Deen». [1] Traces of this original name are also available in the
    New Testament of the Bible and can be read in John 14:5-7, Acts 9:1-2,
    Acts 24:4 and 14. From the Fertile Crescent these Christian
    communities spread across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Since that time
    the ancient communities of Christians, many of which still use the
    Syriac dialects of Aramaic in their churches, have been an integral
    and important part of the social fabrics of the pluralistic societies
    of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. Nevertheless,
    the Christians of the Levant and Iraq are now in the crosshairs.

    Deceit and mischief has been at play. It is no coincidence that
    Egyptian Christians were attacked at the same time as the South Sudan
    Referendum, which was supposed to signal a split between the Muslims
    in Khartoum and the Christians and animists in Juba. Nor is it an
    accident that Iraq's Christian, one of the oldest Christian
    communities in the world, began to face a modern exodus, leaving their
    homes and ancestral homeland in Iraq in 2003. Mysterious groups
    targeted both them and Palestinian refugees¦

    Coinciding with the exodus of Iraqi Christians, which occurred under
    the watchful eyes of US and British military forces, the neighborhoods
    in Baghdad became sectarian as Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims were
    forced by violence and death squads to form sectarian enclaves. This
    is all tied to a US and Israeli project of redrawing the map.

    The Christian communities of the Levant and Iraq have long distrusted
    the US government for its support of Israel, the Kingdom of Saudi
    Arabia, and fanatical militants with anti-Christian leanings.
    Lebanon's Christians have also been weary of US support for Israeli
    expansion and ideas about resettling Palestinians into Lebanon. There
    is also a widely held belief that the US and Israel have been involved
    in a policy to remove or «purge» the Christians from Iraq and the
    Levant in some type of Zionist-linked resettlement plan. Since the
    US-supported anti-government fighters started targeting Christian
    Syrians, there has been renewed talk about a Christian exodus in the
    Middle East centering on Washington's war on Syria.

    Silencing the Ancient Church Bells of Sham and Shinar

    Christian Arabs and both the Assyrian and Armenian ethnic communities,
    which are overwhelming composed of Christian, inside Lebanon and Syria
    have been in the crosshairs. From Homs and Maaloula to Kessab, Syria's
    Christians have been under siege. Various ecclesiastic councils or
    synods have expressed concerns as have Ecumenical Patriarch of
    Constantinople Bartholomew I, the Vatican or Holy See, Russian
    Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Cyril (Kirill) I, Armenian Apostolic
    Catholicos Aram I, the Maronite Greek Catholic Patriarchate in
    Lebanon, Jerusalemite Greek Orthodox Archbishop Theodosios (Attallah)
    Hanna of Sebastia, the Anglican See of Canterbury, Armenian President
    Serzh Sargsyan, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, the Free Patriotic
    Movement of Lebanon's Michel Aoun, the World Council of Churches, and
    various interfaith bodies. Even US celebrities Cherilyn Sarkisian
    (Cher) and Kimberly Kardashian joined the chorus and voiced their
    concerns about Syria's Christians after the Turkish government
    perfidiously helped Al-Nusra overrun the predominately Armenian town
    of Kessab in Lattakia Governate on March 24, 2014. [2]

    Inside Syria, Maronite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Damascus Samir
    Nassar, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, Antiochian
    Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV, and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch
    Ignatius Zakka I Iwas have all condemned the violence. The leaders of
    Syria's other faiths, Druze Sheikh Al-Aql Hamoud Hennawi, Sunni Grand
    Mufti Ahmed Badreddin, and Ashari Imam Mohammed Said Ramadan, have
    joined the Christian leaders in their calls for peace and
    condemnations of Washington's war on Syria. These leaders have risked
    their lives and the lives of their loved ones by taking these
    positions. Sheikh Ramadan, who was also an ethnic Kurd, was murdered
    while he was teaching in a mosque for his backing of the Syrian
    government on March 21, 2013. Patriarch Ignatius IV had his brother
    kidnapped in Aleppo whereas Grand Mufti Hassoun had his twenty-two
    year-old son murdered on his way to university in Idlib. Despite the
    threats, all these figures have spoken against the insurgency as a
    cancerous threat to coexistence in Syrian society and the broader
    region. Melkite Patriarch Gregory III Laham has very vocally said that
    his country is being attacked by bandits and terrorists under the
    fiction of a revolution that seek to destroy the Christians and all
    Syria. [3]

    The Christian communities of Syria, which constitute at least 10% of
    the Syrian population, have been systematically targeted; their
    churches have been attached and desecrated; their priests, monks, and
    nuns murdered; and generally discriminated against by the
    anti-government forces that the US, UK, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia,
    Qatar, Turkey, and their allies support. The objectives of
    establishing this exodus are reflected by the anti-government chants:
    «Alawites to the ground and Christians to Lebanon!» What this chant
    means is that Syria is no longer a place where either Alawis or
    Christians can live.

    America's Foot Soldiers and the Rape of Christians in Syria and Iraq

    Fides News Agency, the official news agency of the Vatican and the
    Roman Catholic Church, has reported that the so-called religious
    leaders of the anti-government fighters declared it lawful for the
    anti-government fighters to rape «any non-Sunni Syrian woman» that
    they desired; the declarations of these corrupt pastors have been used
    to justify the rape, humiliation, torture, and murder of women and
    girls in towns and territory captured by groups like the so-called
    Free Syrian Army, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the so-called Islamic State of
    Iraq and the Levant/Al-Dawlah Al-Islamiyah fi Al-Iraq wa Al-Sham
    (ISIL/DAISH). [4]

    Here is the account given to the Fides News Agency by two priests
    about what was done to one fifteen year-old Syrian Christian girl in
    Homs Governate after the anti-government fighters took control of it:

    The commander of the battalion «Jabhat al-Nusra» in Qusair took
    Mariam, married and raped her. Then he repudiated her. The next day
    the young woman was forced to marry another Islamic militant. He also
    raped her and then repudiated her. The same trend was repeated for 15
    days, and Mariam was raped by 15 different men. This psychologically
    destabilized her and made her insane. Mariam, became mentally unstable
    and was eventually killed. These atrocities are not told by any
    «International Commission» say to Fides two Greek-Catholic priests,
    Fr. Issam and Fr. Elias who have just returned to town. [5]

    These same US-supported multinational insurgent groups have begun to
    do this to Iraqi Christians too. «On June 12, [2014,] only two day
    after capturing Mosul and other territories in Iraq, the Islamic State
    of Iraq and Syria issued a decree ordering the people to send their
    unmarried women to `jihad by sex'» and made a decree ordering that
    unmarried women sexually be offered to their fighters for fornication.
    [6] The following account, which was confirmed by the Iraqi High
    Commission for Human Rights and reported by the Assyrian International
    News Agency, deals with Mosul after its takeover by the
    insurrectionary forces entering Iraq from Syria on June 25, 2014:

    A Christian father who watched his wife and daughter get brutally
    raped by members of the militant group, Islamic State of Iraq and
    Syria (ISIS) because he couldn't pay them a poll tax in Mosul, Iraq,
    killed himself under the weight of the trauma this past weekend. [7]

    The molestation and rape of Christian women and girls as sex objects
    has not been limited to Christians alone. Syrian women and girls,
    regardless of their faiths, that have been captured by the
    anti-government forces are being raped and molested. Muslims,
    Christians, and Druze are all equally at risk. These perverted acts
    are being encouraged by corrupt clerics issuing legal opinions and
    decrees (fatwas) that support rape and womanizing.

    These twisted legal opinions and decrees being issued include calls
    for foreign women to become concubines to the anti-government fighters
    in Syria in what is disgracefully called a «sexual holy struggle»
    (jihad al-nikah). The Tunisian government was even prompted to react
    in mid-2013 to these calls for sexual offering, because they were
    exploiting young Tunisian girls. [8] Tunisian Minister of Religious
    Affairs Noureddine Al-Khadimi condemned the corrupt and ignorant
    clerics and individuals behind the calls, insisting that they had
    nothing to do with Muslim teachings:

    The minister's statements came after the spread of an anonymous
    «sexual jihad» fatwa on the Internet calling on young women to support
    opposition fighters in Syria by providing sexual services. According
    to media reports and mujahideen who returned to Tunisia after
    participating in jihad in Syria, 13 Tunisian girls headed to the
    battlefield in response to the «sexual jihad» fatwa. [9]

    «After the sexual liaisons they have [in Syria] in the name of `jihad
    al-nikah' ' (sexual holy war, in Arabic) ' [these girls] come home
    pregnant», Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi bin Jeddou testified to
    Tunisian legislators months after Al-Khadimi's condemnations,
    explaining that the misguided girls could have over a hundred
    partners. [10]

    Targeting Bishops, Priests, Monks, and Nuns: Besieging the People of «The Way»

    Since the start of the fighting, Christian spiritual figures have been
    targeted in one way or another. There are the cases of Greek Orthodox
    Archbishop Sayedna Paul (Boulos) Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox
    Metropolitan Mar Gregorios John Abraham (Yohanna Ibrahim), which were
    kidnapped near the Turkish border, on April 22, 2013. Their driver, a
    Christian priest himself, was killed instantly for protecting the two
    Christian metropolitans by refusing to let them leave their car. A
    fourth person in the car, Fouad Eliya, managed to remain free (and
    explain what happened). [11]

    The Turkish government is directly involved in the kidnapping of the
    two Orthodox Christian bishops. The Turkish newswire Dogan News Agency
    (Dogan Haber Ajansı) reported on July 23, 2013 that the murders or,
    using the report's words, «assassins» of the two Syrian bishops were
    arrested in Konya. [12] The arrest happened to be of anti-Russian
    fighters from the North Caucasus, which corresponded to Foud Eliya's
    account that Boulos Yazigi and Yohanna Ibrahim were taken by North
    Caucasian militants dressed like Taliban fighters from Afghanistan.

    Grand Mufti Hassoun revealed that Turkish-trained Chechen fighters
    were dispatched by Ankara to kidnap Sayedna Boulos Yazigi and Mar
    Gregorios, because of two important reasons. According to Sheikh
    Hassoun, the first reason is that Metropolitan Gregorios was asked by
    Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to head a church
    committee to begin the process of reclaiming the vast holdings of the
    Syriac Orthodox Church that the Turkish government had confiscated
    during its persecution of Syriac Orthodox Christians. [14]

    In a meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and Mar Gregorios, the
    Turkish government asked that the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
    establish a eparchy (an ecclesiastical province or administrative
    division of the church with a metropolitan) in Turkey and to even
    relocate its patriarchate from Damascus to Hatay (Antioch), but
    Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim refused and said that the patriarchate of
    the Syriac Orthodox Church will never change locations, that Syriac
    Orthodox Christians recognized the Levant as one unified land, and
    that a bishop would be assigned to Turkey when the Syriac Orthodox
    Church's properties were returned by the Turkish government, which
    angered Turkish officials. [15] The other reason that the Orthodox
    Christian cleric was targeted was that he was reconciling
    anti-government fighters peacefully with the Syrian government in
    Aleppo Governate, which upset Turkey and its allies. [16]

    Other cases include those of: Father (Abouna) Fadi Jamal Haddad, a
    Antiochian Greek Orthodox priest acting as a mediator in Qatana during
    the fighting, who was tortured and shot in the head after he tried to
    mediate the release of a doctor that was being ransomed for money;
    Father (Abouna) Francois Al-Mourad, a Catholic priest of the
    Franciscan Order, who was shot for preventing fellow Christians and
    Syrians from being hurt by the anti-government fighters; and Father
    Frans van der Lugt, a Dutch priest of the Jesuit Order working in
    Homs. When Abouna Fadi went to pay the insurgents for the doctor they
    had abducted, they kidnapped him too; they would later kill the
    Christian priests and leave him on the side of the highway, «horribly
    tortured and [with] his eyes gouged out», where his body would be
    found on September 25, 2012. [17]

    According to the Franciscan Order's representatives in Syria, the
    insurgents «broke into the convent, looted it and destroyed
    everything. When Fr. Franҫois tried to defend the nuns and other
    people, the gunmen shot him dead» on June 23, 2013. [18]

    The insurgents murdered Father Frans van der Lugt on April 7,
    2014.This an account of the circumstances behind his murder:

    Wael Salibi, 26, recalled how when the Christian area in Homs was
    taken over by rebels, 66,000 of the faithful «left their home, and
    just few of them stayed there. He was the only priest, he stayed in
    his church.»

    continued in next post..

    Leave a comment:

  • Eddo211
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    The word on the ground is that the invaders are leaving town.....large Syrian force is preparing to enter the city.

    Leave a comment:

  • HermanGerman
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Has Kessab been liberated?
    Log into Facebook to start sharing and connecting with your friends, family, and people you know.

    According to Asarez, the jihadist rebels have and al Qaeda-affiliated militants have withdrawn from Kessab.

    Leave a comment:

  • Eddo211
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Originally posted by londontsi View Post
    I do not think I would trust them to look after a chicken shed.

    PS Is this what Armenians become after a few years in the promised land ???
    These loosers are not in Syria....they are in Mojave desert, CA.

    They don't even know how to shoot an AK and one of them had a hell of a jam.....on a gun that never jams, lol.

    Leave a comment:

  • Hakob
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Originally posted by bell-the-cat View Post
    Everyone else has been exporting their worst idiots to Syria for several years now, so L.A. Armenians are late arrivals on the scene.
    LOL...Why not?

    Leave a comment:

  • bell-the-cat
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Originally posted by londontsi View Post
    I do not think I would trust them to look after a chicken shed.

    PS Is this what Armenians become after a few years in the promised land ???
    Everyone else has been exporting their worst idiots to Syria for several years now, so L.A. Armenians are late arrivals on the scene.

    Leave a comment:

  • Artashes
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Originally posted by londontsi View Post
    I do not think I would trust them to look after a chicken shed.

    PS Is this what Armenians become after a few years in the promised land ???
    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you on the lack of trust to guard anything by these two disgraces.
    I seriously dought those two are representative of the Armenian community in the USA.
    From the standpoint of propaganda to defame & discredit the Armenians at large and the Assad forces though, this is a gem.
    It is unfortunate that each society produces such, but cannot be used to depict the general population.

    Leave a comment:

  • londontsi
    Re: Recent events regarding Syria and Turkey

    Originally posted by HermanGerman View Post
    LA gangbangers fighting in Syria homie - Truthloader

    Armenian - "LA gangbangers fighting in Syria homie"

    What do you think, Truthloader or just xxxxloader?

    I do not think I would trust them to look after a chicken shed.

    PS Is this what Armenians become after a few years in the promised land ???

    Leave a comment: