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10/31/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – According to a Syrian opposition political leader, Christians in northern Syrian have been told by Turkish sponsored armed militias that though they are under orders not to kill Christians, believers are no longer welcome in the area.

The leader’s comments were particularly made in reference to the town of Ras al-Ayn, where Christians reportedly own at least one-third of the agricultural land. According to the opposition leader, Bassam Ishak, the Turkish sponsored militias are using intimidation tactics to force Christians to choose between leaving or remaining but living under Islamists. He warns that this is a type of soft ethnic cleansing – a reference that many of the local Christians are of Assyrian or Armenian origin.

The town is a strategic gateway to the province, which is home to one of the largest concentrations of Christians in Syria. Clashes were reported yesterday in Ras al-Ayn, which hint at the fragility of attempts to negotiate some type of ceasefire. The invasion of Turkey into northern Syria has also opened the door for other entities, such as the Syrian government, to make attempts at gaining territory.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.