Turkish Military Campaign Seemingly Targets Syrian and Iraqi Christians
10/14/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkey’s supposed fight against terrorism in Syria and Iraq coincides with their bombing of Christian and other minority communities. The long-standing fight against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a designated terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU, and the US, has spilled beyond Turkey’s own borders and even PKK territory. The most recent campaign that began at the end of August has killed at least a dozen civilians.
“Turkey has had ambition to expand its territorial control of Syria for several years now. This recent escalation is pretty significant. They’re doing this while the world is distracted by what’s happening in Afghanistan,” according to Dr. Amy Holmes, a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center. Although a ceasefire agreement was signed in October 2019, Turkey has continued its bombardment of Syria. In the first year after the ceasefire, Tel Tamer’s Assyrian Christian region was targeted every month by Turkish airstrikes.
Parallels are being drawn between Turkey’s current actions and its Ottoman Empire predecessor and the Islamic State, both of the latter severely persecuting and driving out Christians. “The recent attacks on our villages brought back to our memory Safar Barlik in 1915, when the Ottoman Empire targeted us … Now, here in Syria, history is repeating itself. Those who attack our villages … are no different from ISIS because they are displacing us and destroying our villages,” commented Elias Antar, the head of the Assyrian People’s Assembly.
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