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ICC Note: As the war in Syria continues all civilians continue to suffer, with Christians and other religious minorities particularly targeted by waring jihadist Extremist groups. As al-Qaeada-linked Jabhat al-Nusra fights to regain ground in Northern Syria they have destroyed a historic Armenian church, one that was home to Armenian archives dating back to the mid-19th century, documenting many of the horrors that Armenian and Assyrian Christians suffered during the genocide of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

11/10/2014 Syria (The Independent) In the most savage act of vandalism against Syria’s Christians, Islamists have blown up the great Armenian church in Deir el-Zour, built in dedication to the one and a half million Armenians slaughtered by the Turks during the 1915 genocide. All of the church archives, dating back to 1841 and containing thousands of documents on the Armenian holocaust, were burned to ashes, while the bones of hundreds of genocide victims, packed into the church’s crypt in memory of the mass killings 99 years ago, were thrown into the street beside the ruins.

This act of sacrilege will cause huge pain among the Armenians scattered across the world – as well as in the rump state of Armenia which emerged after the 1914-1918 war, not least because many hundreds of thousands of victims died in death camps around the very same city of Deir el-Zour. Jabhat al-Nusra rebels appear to have been the culprits this time, but since many Syrians believe that the group has received arms from Turkey, the destruction will be regarded by many Armenians as a further stage in their historical annihilation by the descendants of those who perpetrated the genocide 99 years ago.

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