Assyrians Fleeing Hasaka, Syria
By Bar Daisan
2015-06-30 23:26 GMT
Assyrians leaving Hasaka.Qamishle, Syria (AINA) — After some fighting close to the Syrian city of Hasaka in northern Syria, ISIS entered some neighborhoods of the city on June 25. More than 2,000 Assyrian Christian families are among those who escaped to Qamishle via the Turkish border town Nusaybin. The refugees are sheltered in various Churches, schools and private houses of the city. Hundreds were sheltered in the villages of Derik and Derbesiye.
Among those who fled to Qamishle Hasakah are hundreds of Assyrian families who were driven from the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur villages on February 23, when ISIS attacked the villages.
According to a report by AssyriaTV, the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Ignatius Afram II, arrived Saturday, June 27 in Qamishle to receive and encourage the refugees. Two days earlier the Patriarch attended and delived the opening speech at an academic conference organised by the Free University of Berlin on the genocide of 1915. Ironically, all the Christians who are now fleeing IS are descendants of those who survived the genocide during the late Ottoman Empire in 1915-18.
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, Ignatius Afram II (right), in Qamishle, Syria.Speaking to the FIDES news agency, Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, head of the Syrian Catholic eparchy in Hasaka, said:
The government army is currently gaining ground, with much difficulty, as fighting takes place in an urban environment. On the other hand, the Kurdish militias in the region have responded to the raids of Daesh only when the jihadists tried to attack the Kurdish districts, concentrated in the eastern part of the city. Until that moment the government had not provided support to the army. One must also point out that a part of the local population is on the militants’ side. When these arrived in the south-eastern district of al-Nachwa, women and children were asked to leave the city. But young boys and adults remained, and have sided with Daesh. And now that very large neighborhood is at the center of the most violent clashes between government forces and those of the so-called Islamic State.
The situation is reminescent of the dramatic situation in Mosul in June 2014, when 50,000 Assyrians fled as ISIS took over of Iraq’s second-largest city.
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Calls on Youth to Defend Their Lands in Syria
By Bar Daisan
2015-07-02 23:38 GMT
Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Ignatius Aphrem II, speaking at a church in Qamishli (photo: Suryoyo TV).Qamishli, Syria (AINA) — The Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Ignatius Aphrem II, arrived on Saturday, June 27th in Qamishli to receive and encourage the thousands of Assyrians who have fled from Hasaka. The Patriarch made a call to the youth to return and defend Hasaka in light of the difficulty that the Syrian government has in protecting their civilians in the civil war.
The following speech was delivered by the Patriarch at a church in Qamishli.
Recently, over 100 young men have returned to Hasaka to defend the city. We are grateful and wish to thank the 100 youth for listening to our advice and for protecting our homes in the city of Hasaka. And we wish to thank especially the youth of Qamishli who, with love and joy, have received the internally displaced people in their homes and especially to those who have opened their hearts, homes, and the doors of the churches who have shown hospitality to their brethren.At the same time, we are very grateful to our young volunteers who are members of the militias, who carry arms to defend and fight for your homes and city. May God bless and protect them. We honor the martyrs who have passed in defending our land and the heritage of our forefathers, who were present here before Islam and the Byzantine Empire. For this reason, we need a strong will because the will to survive exceeds the fear of death.
We do not need to listen to ISIS and other extremists who try to scare us. Their goal is to instill fear within us at the mere sound of their name. We should never be afraid due to the reason of bloodshed. We should always be ready to defend ourselves and our lands.
We also want and pray that the Syrian Army is able to protect us all, but because of the severity of the war they are not able to protect us in the way that is necessary. We know it is wrong that each person carries arms. We are not the type of people who want to carry weapons, but because the army is not able to protect us, it is imperative that we find another solution.
For this reason, when we see our youth carrying weapons and protecting our homes and lands, we give them our blessing and do not question their actions. We continually ask God to bless and protect them.
Our goal is not war, rather justice. Our goal is to protect ourselves under the severe circumstances.
Speech translated by Demand For Action.
Many Thanks for publishing here both articles in AINA – date of the magazin: 30.06. 2015 and2.7.2015